The Penang state government wishes all Indians a 2018 Happy Ponggal Day. As we celebrate this harvest festival, we are reminded that to win the future, we must secure prosperity to all.

 

Prosperity can only be secured when everyone is given equal opportunity, committed investment in education to develop human talents, build up basic infrastructure, good governance without corruption to prevent monetary leakages, wastage and programs that benefit the public.

 

Penang is on the right path with strong growth in both the manufacturing and services sector last year with record arrivals of tourists and investments. There are more businesses and factories opening than closing, hotels recorded higher occupancy rates and Penang enjoys one the lowest unemployment rates in the country at 2%.

 

The Penang state government has also increased for 2018 the annual allocations of the Hindu Endowment Board from RM1.1 million to RM1.5 million. This will allow the Hindu Endowment Board to better manage its affairs, including the building at Macalister Road granted by the Penang state government to the Board, scholarships for bright and deserving students in Tamil primary schools.

 

Such an increase in funding is only possible due to the state government’s CAT governance of competency accountability and transparency. CAT governance has allowed the state government to record annual budget surpluses without fail since 2008, increased cash reserves by more than 100% and reduced our state debts by a record 90%.

 

Let us make 2018 a prosperous and bountiful year for all.

 

LIM GUAN ENG