2014 Penang New Year Message By Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng In Komtar, George Town On 31.12.2013.
2014 Portends A Pivotal Year That Will Make Or Break Penang’s Promise As A Destination Of Choice For Tourists, Livable City Of Choice For Residents As Well As A Location Of Choice For Manufacturing, Services and Business Process Outsourcing(BPO) Hub.
2014 portends a pivotal year that will make or break Penang’s promise as a destination of choice for tourists, livable city of choice for residents as well as a location of choice for manufacturing, services and Business Process Outsourcing(BPO) hub. The PR Penang state government has invested resources since 2008 to transform Penang into a high-income economy as not only the sweatshop but also the smartshop of the manufacturing and services sector.
Working in tandem with the long-awaited opening of the Penang 2nd Bridge during the Chinese New Year, the state government hopes that its landing point at Batu Kawan can be the catalyst of growth in Seberang Perai to move Penang up out of the middle-income trap:-
From a low-cost manufacturing centre towards a knowledge-based, innovation-driven and high-tech production powerhouse.
Seeking convergence by leveraging on the strong manufacturing base to develop the services sector and fulfil Penang’s promise as one of the 31 BPOs of the future.
Providing support to local SMEs in terms of physical infrastructure facilities, sharing market knowledge, credit access, technological or research and development assistance.
Building tourism infrastructure and attracting world-class tourist products;
Ensure sustainable development by investing public resources to make Penang as the most livable city in Malaysia that is clean, green, safe and healthy.
As Penang has no natural resources and can not expect any external public funding, the market will play its resource allocation role to source human talent, capital, resources, infrastructure, technology and sales for our growth. The state government will rely on our faith in the energy, expertise and entrepreneurship of our human talent to realise our vision of making Penang an international and intelligent city.
The state government’s pro-growth and pro-jobs economic policies that has seen economic prosperity and a shortage of at least 20,000 jobs is not achieved at the expense of the poor. Penang is proud with our cash assistance programmes of RM150 million to schools, dialysis centres, free wifi and directly to the 1.6 million Penangites since 2008, especially the singular achievement of becoming the first state to wipe out poverty in Malaysia. Penang is also proud in not imposing any price hikes on local services.
In contrast to the BN Federal government’s repeated price hikes of petrol, sugar, power tariffs, highway tolls and assessment rates, the Penang state government has not increased quit rent, water tariffs, assessment nor business license rates for this year and next year. The only increase is on penalties for those consumers who waste water, an environmental protection programme to conserve water, because Penang records the country’s highest water consumption rate. Even after the increase in penalties to conserve water, those who waste water still pay the lowest water tariffs in the country.
Further the new housing rules and commencement of the public and affordable housing programme of 20,000 units in all 5 districts by the Penang Development Corporation will benefit first-time housebuyers. The biggest challenge is still public transport because co-operation, support and approval from the Federal government is essential. The Penang state government hopes that the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak can fulfil his commitment made during the National Christmas Day Open House celebrations in Penang that both the Federal and state government should rise above competing interests to work for the good of the people.
LIM GUAN ENG