Press Statement By Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng In Komtar, George Town On 9.10.2016.
1. The Penang state government regrets the false claims by irresponsible elements, that Penang’s economy is in crisis because of factory closures and mass retrenchments. Nothing could be further from the truth. For the comparative 8-year period from 2008-16 compared to 2000-7, Penang’s manufacturing investment increased by 87% to RM54.9 billion from RM24.9 billion with job creation increased by 17 % to 128,317 job opportunities from 106,583.
2. As such, Penang still faces a shortage of workers of at least 20,000 and has one of the lowest unemployment rate in the country at 1.5%, as compared to the national unemployment rate to 3.1%. In the manufacturing sector, factory closures and new factory openings, retrenchments and job gains, are part of the industry. At the end of the day, Penang has more factory openings than closures, more job gains than retrenchments.
3. Penang’s 2015 economic growth rate of 5.5% in 2015 is higher than Malaysia’s growth rate of 5%. However the Penang’s 2015 economic growth rate is still lower than the 8% recorded by Penang in 2014 due to the imposition of GST and the corruption in the RM 53 billon 1MDB and RM4.2 billion donation scandals. The Federal government imposed GST to recoup the revenue shortfall caused by corruption scandals and the drop in oil prices. The imposition of GST has a devastating effect on the economic livelihood on Malaysians with business dropping until some businesses have not even had a profitable month this year. Even wage earners are affected when they can not make ends meet.
4. The negative impact of GST on the economy, businessmen and wage earners can be seen by the surprising 30% drop in GST collection for the 2nd quarter of 2016. For the first three months of the year, GST collection amounted to RM10.2 billion, which is on target to achieve the RM39 billion for the whole year of 2016. However for the next three months, GST collection dropped by RM3.1 billion to RM7.1 billion. The 30%b drop in GST collection highlight how bad business and consumption expenditure is.
5. Fortunately for Penang, encouraging tourism growth in both foreign and domestic tourists has helped to cushion the worst effects of the economic downturn. This is the reason why the services sector has grown to be the largest sector at 49.1% of Penang’s GDP, as compared to manufacturing’s 44.7%. Penang is presently the fourth largest economy in Malaysia with a GDP of RM76,154 million based on current prices, losing out only the Selangor KL , Sarawak and Johor.
For The Period From 2008-16 Compared To 2000-7, Penang’s Manufacturing Investment Increased By 87% To RM54.9 Billion From RM24.9 Billion With Job Creation Increased By 17 % To 128,317 From 106,583 Job Opportunities.
6. Penang continues to attract investments into the state, with a total of RM54.9 billion MIDA approved investment projects into the state from 2008-2015, an increase of 86.9% increase in investment into the state compared to RM29.4 billion approved MIDA investment projects in the corresponding period of 2000-2007.
7. Foreign investments (FDI) from 2008-2015 stood at RM36.7 billion showed an increase of 62.5% compared to RM22.6 billion FDI in 2000-2007. FDI from 2008-2015 contributes to 66.7% of the total investments into Penang. This shows the foreign investors continued confidence in Penang as a destination of choice.
8. Domestic investments approved by MIDA also showed an increase of almost three times from RM6.8 billion in 2000-2007 to RM18.3 billion in 2008-2015. These MIDA approved investments have generated huge potential employment opportunities to attract talents to work in Penang.
9. Between 2008-2015, a total of 128,317 job opportunities has been generated through domestic and potential investments as compared to 106,583 job opportunities between 2000-2007, based on statistics by MIDA. These figures are for MIDA approved investments only and do not include other industries such as construction, services and primary industries. (See Graph)
10. The strong performance of Penang’s economy has enabled Penang to record in 2015, the second highest GDP per capita (current price) in the country, losing out only to Kuala Lumpur. Penang’s GDP per capita at current prices is RM 44,847 compared to the Malaysian figure of RM 37,104.
LIM GUAN ENG
—–Mandarin Version —
9 根据工业发展局的记录，在2008-2015年期间，我们通过国内外投资创造了12万8317个就业机会，相比2000-2007期间10万6583个 就业机会。这个数字只包括工业发展局批准的投资额，而不包括其它工业如建筑业、服务业及基础工业（见表）。