May Day Message(e/c)

Penang State Government 2017 May Day Message By Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng In Komtar, George Town On 1.5.2017.

For this year’s Labour Day, the Penang state government would like to reiterate our commitment towards a pro-poor, pro-jobs and pro-growth development policy for the people of Penang. We acknowledged the negative impact of the 1MDB financial scandal and the USD 1 billion donation scandals, leading to the drop in the value of the ringgit and the imposition of GST. GST must be abolished to curb rising inflation and higher costs of living.

Penang is a good example of a healthy financial administration with annual budget surpluses and low debt, without relying on the GST. To alleviate the financial burden of the people, a 6% discount of the assessment rates is given to all property owners for 2017. Those living in low-cost, low-medium cost and kampung houses, will be given full exemption of assessment rates for 2017.

Whilst we focus on ensuring growth and prosperity through good and clean governance, building infrastructure and human talent, the poor shall not be forgotten. We devote 12 percent of our budget annually in cash aid paying out RM412 million in cash to 1.6 million Penangites since 2008. We even guarantee a minimum monthly household income of RM790 by topping up the income of those who earn less than RM790.

In other words, if your monthly household income is RM600 per month, the state will pay RM190 every month. Perhaps, this is why Penang’s Gini coefficient of income inequality has been reduced from 0.42 in 2009 to 0.364 in 2014, an improvement of 13 percent over five years, as compared to the national average of 0.401.

Although national unemployment rate is 3.5%, and with the industry warning of further deterioration in 2017, Penang’s unemployment rate is only 1.6% at 2016. This is consistent with our record since 2008. Between 2008-2015, 20% more jobs were created compared to the same period from 2000-2007. Which is why, I have always invited young Malaysians from all over the country to come and work in Penang if you cannot get a job elsewhere. This is because we prioritise Malaysians for our jobs above all else.

For example, in 2012, Majlis Perbandaran Seberang Perai (MPSP) took over cleaning contracts from private contractors from 2013. These private contractors hired mostly migrant workers, with some companies having only about 5% local staff. Consequently, between 2012-2014, MPSP replaced the private contractors by hiring 2,500 Malaysians to do the job. They are paid about RM1,913 a month, which is above the minimum monthly wage of RM1,000.

The female labour participation rate of women must be increased to 60%, with Penang at 58% compared to the Malaysia’s 54%. To encourage more women in Penang to work, the state government is taking this first initiative to propose a 3 days annual paid parental leave to both mothers and fathers to look after their ill children under 12 years of age or take them to seek medical treatment. Also, the 3 days paid annual parental leave will encourage mothers to work or stay on paying jobs after marriage.

Happy Labour Day.

—-Mandarin Version—


趁今年劳动节的到来,槟州政府欲在此重申对所有槟城人的承诺:我们的发展政策,会是一个重贫穷、重工作以及重成长的方针。我们了解,1MDB的金融丑闻及10亿美元的捐款丑闻迄今已经带来了负面的影响 ,致使马币狂泻也开启了消费税的实施。为解决通货膨胀及生活费节节升高的困境,废除消费税已是刻不容缓。