As we welcome the Year of The Dog, the Penang State government wishes everyone wealth, health, safe and a prosperous New Year!
The legendary American investor Warren Buffet identified productivity and innovation as the critical success factors of generating wealth. Jack Ma of Alibaba said that you must surround yourself with smart people and always employ those smarter than you. Both men stresses on investing in education and pursuing excellence to win the future.
However the conditions that make this possible is important. Penang offers a framework of becoming a successful economy belonging to all. In our quest to becoming an international and intelligent city, Penang has chosen to be both an entrepreneurial and welfare state based on 5 strategic pillars.
1. Building human talent especially STEM education of science, technology, engineering and maths to be actively involved in the Industry 4.0 Revolution;
2. Building physical infrastructure and communications, especially digital connectivity;
3. Working towards a livable city that is clean, green, safe and healthy;
4. Adopting good governance and clean leadership based on competency, accountability and transparency(CAT);
5. Embracing sustainable development to establish a habitat that protects not only the environment but also those in need.
These aspirations are not wishful thinking. Penang has recorded some amazing achievements and is now a location of choice for investors as well as a favoured destination of tourists. Topping it up, is our financial performance not just in recording annual budget surpluses, doubling of asset reserves and an astonishing 90% reduction in state debts, the lowest in the country. Penang is the only state government to be commended by Transperncy International.
All this is achieved despite disbursing out more than RM500 million in cash payments to the public. Penang has also turned around our seedy reputation as the dirtiest state in the country into one of the cleanest cities not just in Malaysia but also in ASEAN! We are proud of our UNESCO World Heritage City of George Town, just as we are proud of being the only state in Malaysia over the last 12 years that has not touched a single square inch of our forest reserves.
We can do more. We can succeed if we unite as a people around common values that is good and just. Penangites celebrate diversity, regardless of race and religion, because we have more in common than the small differences that divide us. Just as we will overcome the challenges together, Penang shall also rise together.
Penang Rising Together!
LIM GUAN ENG