2014 Chinese New Year Message By Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng In Komtar, George Town On 29.1.2014.
Penang’s outcome-based model of governance that is centered on competency, accountability and transparency will bring dignity to the rakyat and hope for a brighter future. Penang can be the hope of a new model of governance where moderation is preferred over extremism and performance wins over cronyism.
The state government has relentlessly pursued a transformation of Penang into an international and intelligent city that allows Penang to escape the middle-income trap into a high-income economy as well as ensuring economic equity with balanced development in infrastructure and economic programs, cash aid and creating history as the first state in Malaysia to wipe out poverty. All this is achieved without any price hikes in 2014 by the state government whether in quit rent, assessment, business licenses or water tariffs.
It is critical that we rely not only on savings and cost-cutting but also on generating revenue sources. The state government is moving up the value chain from a budget-based to an outcome-based administration, with emphasis not just on optimizing “value for money” but also on the broad effectiveness in achieving the desired socio-development goals.
Developing and attracting human talent is the critical success factor for Penang. An ecosystem of high quality educational system from primary to tertiary level, good and reliable healthcare as well as a dynamic entertainment, art,culture and heritage center that will allow the best and brightest to live, learn work and play in Penang.
Penang was No.1 in terms of investment in Malaysia from 2010 to August 2013. On the tourism front, we have now two theme parks Escape Theme Park and WWW water theme Park in Batu Ferringhi.
We have finally succeeded in drawing in IKEA to come to Batu Kawan, the first IKEA store outside Kuala Lumpur. A premium retail outlet, the second one in Malaysia after Johor, will also be in Batu Kawan. Batu Kawan will also be the home of universities like KDU and UK’s Hull that will offer courses in law, engineering, logistics, business studies and accounting.
Penang has been voted by Guardian newspaper of United Kingdom as the 8th best tourist destination in the world, the only one from South-East Asia. Penang and Kuala Lumpur is also the 3rd best place to retire in the world. Finally for the first time in history, Penang will make Malaysia proud by hosting the first World Women Squash Championships in Malaysia in March 2014.
In this Year of the Horse, we strive to preach pragmatism that seek practical solutions that can broaden opportunities for the young and seek a stronger presence of women. We are mindful of the fact that there can be no rule of law when justice easily falls victim to power. Any legal system or established set of institutions must be solely devised to protect the rights of citizens and serve ordinary people.
We believe that Penang can prove that social harmony is best achieved through celebrating our differences not depriving or oppressing another’s rights. Let us prove that economic prosperity can best be achieved by giving everyone equal opportunities, integrity in leadership and sustainable development.
LIM GUAN ENG
—-Mandarin Version —–