State government has not neglected Penang’s overall long-term development while simultaneously working hard to reboot the tourism sector: Assemblyman Lai Heng

Media Statement from Teh Lai Heng (political secretary to Penang Chief Minister), dated 7 July 2020:

Response to Gerakan’s Oh Tong Keong’s baseless comment on Penang State Government’s post-Covid-19 recovery effort

Gerakan’s allegations that the Penang State Government has not given attention to rebuild tourism sector and local economy are baseless.

Gerakan should instead question the Perikatan Nasional Federal Government since they are the one that deprived funds to rebuild Penang’s tourism sector by cancelling the RM100 million allocation for Penang Hill cable car system.

Penang State Government under Pakatan Harapan has been aggressively rebuilding the tourism sector and the economy in the state. Even when international travel is still largely inactive, the State Government has been in close correspondence with various countries in preparation to resume operation immediately when the pandemic is over, reviving multilateral tourism economy.

For Oh Tong Keong to raise suspicion over Penang government’s effort in rebuilding the affected sector shows that he has not been paying attention to the various initiatives undertaken by the office of YB Yeoh Soon Hin, State EXCO for Tourism Development, Arts, Culture and Heritage.

As part of the efforts to reboot the hospitality industry, Penang government is waiving hotel fee charges for six months, from 1st of July to 31st of December 2020.

The George Town World Heritage Incorporated has allocated RM1 million to help traditional traders and craftsmen located at the heart of George Town.

The Penang Global Tourism, under the State Government, has launched a dedicated website penangtraveldeals.com to revive the state’s tourism.

Taking a step forward, this year’s George Town Festival has also been digitised to promote Penang through the internet to the whole world in order to increase future visit. The State Government is already working to attract tourists from around the globe in anticipation of the opening of international borders.

With regards to the concerns raised over the Bayan Lepas Light Rail Transit (LRT), Pan-Island Link 1 and 2 (PIL1 and PIL2), and the Penang South Reclamation (PSR) projects, I want to remind Gerakan that these initiatives have been in preparation for many years. They are important to address the present and future traffic demands and development in the state, to serve the people of Penang.

Infrastructural development must continue for the long-term benefits of Penang’s people. The state’s infrastructures need constant upgrading to better serve Penangites today, tomorrow and the days to come. As a responsible State Government, we do not neglect the overall long-term development of the state while simultaneously working hard to reboot the tourism sector.

I wonder if that was the principle of Gerakan when they were in power, that they only focused on addressing one sector while ignoring and neglecting other required development in Penang.

Teh Lai Heng
Political Secretary to Penang Chief Minister
State Assemblyperson Komtar


针对民政党对槟州首长曹观友所做出的质问,槟州首席部长政治秘书兼光大区州议员郑来兴就反问道,槟州的旅游业何曾不受关注?何曾不是州政府的主要考量?他指出,在这个行管令期间,唯一没有在挽救槟城旅游业的只有国盟政府,除了把希盟执政的州属边缘化之余,还取消升旗山空中缆车的1亿令吉拨款,大量减少了州属内的资金流动量。

他表示,槟州政府在推动旅游业的工作上不曾松懈过,就算目前国际航空严重受阻,州政府依然积极地与各国保持密切的合作关系,且商谈着如何在疫情消去后如何通过互相宣传与优惠来复兴双方的旅游业。

至于推动国内的旅游上,州政府所推出的计划更多,胡栋强会做出以上的质问就表示他没有关注槟州旅游、艺术、文化及遗产事务行政议员杨顺兴所做出的任何宣告。

“他不懂州政府已宣布会豁免6个月的酒店房租税、乔治市世遗机构已经拨出100万令吉来协助在世遗区内的小贩、老行业、租户与商家、槟城环球旅游社另外开设了新的网站Penangtraveldeals.com来推广本地的酒店与旅游景点等等的措施来协助槟城的旅游业。”

他指出,州政府也将乔治市世遗日的庆典电子化,让全世界热爱本地文化的人都可以通过互联网来观赏,并且吸引他们日后来槟城旅游。这再度展示了州政府的适应能力,以及州政府会用尽办法确保槟城的魅力就算受到疫情影响也不会逊色。

他也指出,峇六拜轻快铁(BL LRT)、槟城第一与第2A泛岛大道计划(PIL 1、PIL 2A)和槟岛南端填海计划(PSR)都不是新的计划,州政府已经在筹备及策划多年,作为舒缓槟城严重的交通阻塞问题,对全体槟州子民以及到访游客而言都是相当重要的工程。

他续说,槟州政府若要与时并进,就需要把握时机尽快将槟城发展起来,除了旅游与环境之余,也得确保槟城的交通,基础设施,物流设备,人力资源都能根据时代的要求改变,因此不可能把全部各领域的资源都转移到抢救旅游业上。他也质问以往民政管辖槟城时期是否都保持着这种思维,一次只能专注做一样东西,一旦专注要复兴旅游业就得把其他的大型工程给停放在一旁。