Speech by YAB Mr. Lim Guan Eng, The Chief Minister of Penang PDCMC INSTALLATION NIGHT 2 October 2015
First and foremost, I am honoured to be invited to the installation ceremony of PDCMC this evening. I thank PDCMC for extending the honour for me to officiate this event.
PDCMC, a newly established working group of PCCC, was formed last year in September 2014 to represent Penang based property industry players. 1 year after its establishment, PDCMC has managed to secure 150 numbers of new membership from both its membership strength and especially from the public.
PDCMC has successfully generated members from smaller SMEs such as budget hotel, office, commercial and kindergarten players to big players in the industry such as the developers. Other members also consist of the professional like lawyers, bankers, accountants, real estate agents, licensed valuers, and insurers. I understand that in ensuring that the members are well represented, 8 Sub-Committees were formed and are headed by a knowledgeable and experienced market player in their respective industry namely Development, Construction, Building material, Property management, Property services, SME, Heritage and Tourism as well as Local government.
When we first took over in 2008, our first order of priority was to prove that a clean government can perform better than a corrupt government. We have to deliver on basic services. To do that we have to be able transform the civil service. That is our CAT governance based on Competency, Accountability and Transparency. Hence, while financial scandals and Malaysia have become almost synonymous, Penang is proud to maintain its unblemished record. This is mainly due to a few institutional procedures that we put in place based on the 3Es of enabling, empowering and enriching the people.
One of the first things we implemented was, believe or not, an open competitive tender system. All this while, government procurement in Malaysia has been notoriously opaque, with those with “political cables” favoured over genuine contractors. By making our tender process completely online and accessible to everyone, we replaced political cables with computer cables, thus ensuring there was no avenue for corruption to take place.
Because public officials in Malaysia are known to enrich themselves and their relatives, we also took a strong stand against the scourge of nepotism and cronyism by institutionalising periodical public asset declarations for all elected representatives in Penang, including the Chief Minister. In addition to that, we also expressly forbade all elected representatives and their family members from having any business links with the government.
We have been commended by the annual Auditor-General Reports as the most financially efficient state government and even praised by Transparency International, the first time that any state or federal government in Malaysian history has been so lauded.
All these measures resulted in our cash reserves increasing by 50% and our debt has been reduced by 90%. We recorded budget surpluses for every year since we took power in 2008. From 2008 to 2013, our total surpluses came up to RM453 million, from which we have spent RM287 on social welfare programmes to help the needy and other vulnerable groups within the state. In fact our RM453 million accumulated surpluses over 6 years far exceeded the surpluses accumulated over the previous 50 years from 1957-2007 under the previous BN government of RM373 million.
As a direct result of these programmes, we were able to reduce our Gini Coefficient, which is the measure of income inequality, by 11% over a period of 3 years, from 0.42 in 2009 to 0.37 in 2012. This is enriching the people to ensure that the fruits of economic success are also distributed to all.
Thanks to our CAT model of governance, international investment has increased. From 2008 to 2014, we managed to attract RM48.2 billion worth of investments, which is 93% higher than the RM24.9 billion invested on a similar 6 year period from 2001 to 2007.
We recorded GDP growth of 7.4% in 2014 in Penang; and the 11th Malaysia Plan estimates Penang’s GDP growth this year to be equally robust at 6.2%. We also have full employment with Penang recording the historic low 1.2% unemployment rate last year. Or a shortage of 20,000 workers. Such good employment market is translated to households in Penang enjoying household income growth of 7.6% annually between 2012 and 2014.
Penang would have been a high-income economy this year if not for the fact the ringgit dropped 30% in value due to the RM 42 billion 1MDB financial scandal and RM2.6 billion donation scandal involving the Prime Minister.
We enable the people with knowledge, equipping them with skills and technical know-how. We have also taken a big step to win the future by investing in education. We have set up learning centers focusing on science and technology, established the Penang Future Foundation scholarship programme to help deserving Malaysians to achieve their academic dreams and to reverse the brain drain problem by ensuring these young graduates return to work in Penang after completing their studies.
In addition, we have also started the country’s first Dual Vocational Training (DVT) programme modelled after the successful German system. They study and work in the factories, where the government sponsors their tuition fees and the participating companies pay a monthly stipend to the students for studying.
We empower the people with rights and responsibilities. By adhering to rule of law and establishing institutions we ensure that our legacy lives on based on rules and not rule by men. Not only does this ensure freedom but also that freedom works! For instance when we took power in 2008, we had zero fish farms reared on sea. Now 7 years later, it is a RM1 billion ringgit industry with over 300 fish farms on the sea.
Much as I would love to claim credit, this amazing transformation was done without spending a single cent but merely dependant on reinventing government. The past government benefiting its cronies had only singled out only one or two chosen individuals were given thousands of hectares of sea areas, which they then sub-let to genuine operators under the classic rentier system.
We stopped the corrupt practice and gave only to owner-operated fish farms up to a maximum of 8,000 square meters each. Further we instituted the check list system where approval must be given if all the boxes were ticked. And the outcome of approval must be given within 3 months. This is how a billion ringgit fish farm industry was born out of nothing at all.
This is the 3Es of enabling, empowering and enriching the people!
Although under the umbrella of the Chinese Chamber, the working group of PDCMC looks into the interest of all, hence, its membership is open to all, even to foreigners as long as they are based in Penang. Being so well represented, the Penang State wishes PDCMC the very best in carrying out its objectives and we look forward to seeing this establishment being the strong voice of the property industry in years to come.
不管你们是否相信，首先我们贯彻的，就是一个竞争式的公开招标系统。在这之前，马来西亚政府部门的所有采购是出了名的不透明，只有那些有“政治管道”（“political cables”）者比真正的承包商更有机会获得政府的采购订单。于是，我们全面透过网上公开招标，让所有人能够参与竞标。我们以电脑网络的管道（computer cable）取代了“政治管道”，以确保贪污绝无容身之地。
这些措施的成果皆展现在我们的财政数据里。槟州政府的储备金增加了 50%，我们也同时成功减债 90%。自2008年执政以来，我们创下每年财政盈余的记录。从2008年至 2013年，我们的总盈余额为4亿5300万令吉。这当中我们共花了2亿8700万令吉作为颁发各项福利计划之用，以在州内协助有需要及志愿团体之人员。实际上，我们在过去6年累积的4亿5300万令吉盈余，远远超过了前朝国阵政府从1957年至 2007年过去50年的总额3亿7300万令吉盈余总额。
在2014年，槟州创下国内生产总值7.4% 的增长率；第11 大马计划也估计今年槟州的国内生产总值成长率将会是同样有力的6.2%。同时，截至去年为止，槟州的失业率只有仅仅的1.2% 新低，甚至面对缺乏2万名员工的局面。良好的就职市场让槟州在2012至2104年之间的家庭收入，获得了每年7.6%的增长率。
此外，我们也成为国内首个开启德国双元制职教育计划（Dual Vocational Training (DVT) – 一个经证实成功的德国教学模式的州政府。他们将在工厂内读书及工作，政府赞助他们的学费，而参与的公司则支付这些学生每月津贴。
我们中断这一切惠及朋党的作业模式，我们直接将海面地拨给真正的养鱼业者，每个业者最高可获租 8,000 平方公尺的海面积。我们也设立了一个检查表系统，只要符合一切条件，必需在3个月内给予批准。这就是一个算10亿的工业，如何从无到有的生产过程。