Penang 2017 New Year Message By Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng In Komtar, George Town On 1.1.2017.
The Penang State Government Will Continue To Revive And Revitalised Past Abandoned Or Failed Projects In the Services Sector Especially Tourism, To Be The Main Economic Driver In 2017.
The Penang state government will continue to revive and revitalised past abandoned or failed projects in the services sector especially tourism, to be the main economic driver in 2017. Even though manufacturing sector will play an important role in our economy, its contribution to Penang’s GDP last year has dropped to 45% compared to 50% for the services sector.
Moreover, 2017 will be a even more challenging year following the the shock election of US President Donald Trump, whose golden rule, especially on global economy and trade, is that there are are no more rules. Donald Trump is intent on keeping and creating job in US and punishing American companies who move out of US by imposing tariffs on their products sold in US.
There is a need for Penang to adapt to these fast-changing geo-political developments. In view of uncertainty relating to US companies’ new manufacturing investments in Penang, there is a need to consider alternatives and new game-changers such as the services sector, especially tourism and art as new economic drivers.
As a first step, the Penang state government has launched tourism initiatives encompassing both new new green field projects and reviving abandoned and failed brown field projects. Some of new green field projects include:-
• both the new RM10 billion township in Batu Kawan with universities, hospitals, premium retail outlets(Penang Design Village) and Ikea super-retail mall;
• a new convention center in Jelutong(IJM’s Waterfront);
• new theme parks in Teluk Bahang, Pulau Jerejak and Batu Kawan;
• a new 5-star hotel and world-class hall in Seberang Jaya;
• Karpal Singh Drive, the new waterfront in Penang;
• RM30 million Penang Arts District near the UNESCO World Heritage site of George Town; and
• Malaysia best sea-front project, the magnificent Gurney Wharf that is being reclaimed from the sea.
A more significant success is the revival of abandoned and failed projects by the previous BN government(brown fields) such as:-
• Penang Hill which carries 1.6 million passengers this year, more than the 200,000 passengers yearly before 2008;
• Komtar’s RM200 million revival as the most exciting indoor theme park in Malaysia with spectacular views at the top of its 68 storey building;
• Revival of George Town as a world-class UNESCO heritage enclave;
• Refurbishment and upgrading of the golf course in Bukit Jambul now known as the Penang Golf Club;
• Entopia the most beautiful butterfly farm in the world; and
• Penang’s first exhibition center, the RM 750 million sPICE or sub-terranean Penang International Convention and Exhibition Center replacing the failed PISA in Bayan Baru.
The singular success of Penang state government in reviving the previous government’s failed projects is highlighted by Komtar’s RM200 million new look. The previous government had wanted to abandon Komtar for dead by escaping to Bayan Mutiara’s new administrative center. However, the new Penang state government in 2008 decided to stay put and fight, to revive Komtar through a unique public private people partnership.
Only our political opponents refuse to see the value and success of turning around their failed projects by bringing dead projects back to life. Who are the real frogs who live under the coconut husk(katak di bawah tempurung) by such continuous denial of facts and ignorance of reality?
The Penang state government will also explore new initiatives to expand medical tourism in our pursuit to establish Penang as a medical city and reinforce Penang’s position in commanding more than 50% of Malaysia’s medical tourism receipts. In pursuing these objectives in line with Penang as an entrepreneurial state, the state government will also work in parallel towards Malaysia’s first welfare state that is clean, green, safe and healthy.
Only then can we wish a Happy New Year 2017 to all 1.6 million Penangites.
LIM GUAN ENG
• 在日落洞兴建新的会展中心 (IJM’s Waterfront);