Penang State Government 2016 Chinese New Year Message By Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng on 6.2.2016In Komtar, George Town.
Transformation Of Penang Into An International And Intelligent City That Is Clean, Green, Safe And Healthy Depends On Democratisation And Traditional Values.
In making Penang as the preferred destination in Malaysia when celebrating festivals, including Chinese New Year, we must not forget the importance of transforming Penang into an international and intelligent city. A successful transformation depends both on democratisation and traditional values. Traditional values emphasizes respect, hard work and integrity.
Democratisation as a key to economic growth, is not limited to political, economic and social institutions. Nowadays democratisation of resources is seen as one of the sources of economic progress. Democratisation of information, finance and technology in the internet age has contributed much, by making resources more available, accessible and affordable to the largest number of people in human history.
Whilst the role of democratisation economic progress cannot be ignored, we should not discount the importance of China in providing an alternative narrative to the market economy. China’s role is not limited to lifting itself up from poverty to become the second largest economic superpower in the world in one generation. The health of the Chinese economy plays a major role in determining global economic progress.
Penang can learn from the Chinese economic success. From Mao Tze Tung’s first strike to restore its people’s dignity when he announced that “the Chinese people has stood up” after freeing the country from foreign influence 1949. To Deng Xiao Peng who was even more influential, when he liberalised and opened up the economy by declaring that “it does not matter whether the cat is black or white, as long as it catches mice”.
The next Chinese leader Jiang Tze Min focused on science and technology to develop the country followed by Hu Jin Tao stressing on the importance of promoting a harmonious society. The present Chinese leader Xi Xin Ping is coming back full circle by fighting corruption to restore the Chinese people’s pride and dignity.
Whilst Penang is committed to democratisation, these building blocks of Chinese successes deserves attention.Penang needs to focus on our human resources by building human talent. Investing in education is key to winning the future, especially in science and technology. Good governance only works when the government is clean and competent. A united nation where people live in harmony, celebrating diversity with full respect for different faiths and cultural practices.
Penang is focused on rekindling interest in science education amongst our young to transform Penang into a Centre of Excellence for science and technology. UNESCO has acknowledged our ability to live in harmony side by side and respect for each other with the World Heritage status of George Town and the growing recognition of Penang as the art and cultural capital of Malaysia. Penang has a clean government praised by Transparency International and a government that works in making Penang an international and intelligent city that is clean, green safe and healthy.
Equally important is that the people can live with dignity by together not only in enjoying the fruits of economic progress but in the expansion of fundamental rights where they have a say by being consulted instead of being told what to do. This is exemplified by the 11 public hearings of our RM27 billion Transport Masterplan(TMP) held over the last 2 months, even though the state government has not given approval, but leaves it for the people to decide.
The TMP resolves to overcome traffic congestion with a five-in-one mode to build an efficient public transport system combining buses, taxis, ferries/water taxis, LRT/monorail and cable car. The TMP awaits Federal government approval. No government in Malaysia has conducted public hearings even before a project has been approved. The TMP is the final challenge for Penang – to either ensure our sustainable economic development in the next 50 years until 2065 or allow the Federal government to choke us to death with traffic congestion.
LIM GUAN ENG