I am very pleased to be here with you this evening to celebrate the reopening of Penang Hill recently and, more importantly, to also thank and honour the many organisations and individuals who have come forward and joined in this difficult journey.
Anyone who have seen the photographs and videos in the aftermath of the landslides which occurred on Nov 5 would be excused if they were of the opinion that it will take many months to clear the debris and to re-store the funicular service and other facilities on the hill. There were 194 landslides and many say that it would take up to 2 years for train services to be restored. To have done this in less than 2 months is, however, a miracle of sorts and it truly speaks volume of the dedication and commitment of the Penang Hill Corporation (PHC) team led by its General Manager Cheok Lay Leng.
They would, however, not have been able to accomplish the task without your support and assistance. It would not be right if I do not single out the various government agencies which have directly assisted in the recovery works and also facilitated the restoration of facilities and utilities to the hill. Hence, I would like to thank the Jabatan Kerja Raya, Majlis Bandaraya Pulau Pinang, Perbadanan Bekalan Air, Tenaga Nasional, Telekom Malaysia, Angkatan Pertahanan Awam and Askar Melayu Diraja Malaysia.
Special mention goes out to the Penang Hill Residents Association for their assistance throughout the 2-month period led by none other than Raja Bukit (who also happens to be a PHC staff) and his team who initiated the clearing work of key roads and walking paths and, along with the PHC team, co-ordinated assistance for residents.
Finally, may I thank each and everyone who have played your part in helping us on the recovery of Penang Hill. Let us work together make it the hill resort of choice in Malaysia. We hope to break 1.6 million passengers this year. To succeed we need to pass out the message that Penang Hill is back on track and open for business. PHC will unveil their new website here today.
Going forward, very much more needs to be done to rehabilitate the hill and protect its natural environment and historical heritage for our future generations but we face the challenge with the confidence that we will be able to count on your support in the future.
The new website is more contemporary, trendy, flexible and progressive platform and also adapting to the latest technology and to give better user experience to those who visit the PHC website. It is easier and faster navigation and user-friendly than the previous version, with more animation for better visual impact and viewing experience. Like the existing version, the new website will provide for online ticketing and will be available in English, Malay and Chinese. It will eventually also interface with new mobile apps for Penang Hill which will also be launched soon.
I congratulate the PHC team for making the effort to refresh the website which carries many new exciting features which you will be able to see from the launch video which will be shown shortly after this.
With this, I am pleased to officially launch our new Penang Hill Corporation website.