A FEW months after taking office as the fifth Chief Minister of Penang, Chow Kon Yeow launched the Penang2030 vision last August with the aim of propelling the state to greater achievements.
Chow has stressed that the vision to build a ‘Family-Focused Green and Smart State that Inspires the Nation’, could not be realised by him or the state government alone but is the collective responsibility of every individual.
It is built around four themes, namely to ‘Increase liveability to enhance quality of life’, ‘Upgrade the economy to raise household incomes’, ‘Empower people to strengthen civic participation’ and ‘Invest in built environment to improve resilience’.
All the state executive councillors and assemblymen are also playing their part to ensure that the vision Chow has put forth would bear fruit in 11 years.
And since the launch, a series of engagement sessions have been held with stakeholders on both island and mainland, State Secretariat personnel, state executive councillors, Members of Parliament and State Assembly, heads of departments and heads agencies, and state agencies.
In a random survey, Buletin Mutiara spoke to some Penangites on their perception of the Penang2030. Below are their views and feedback.
Paveethiraa, 26, private sector employee.
I’m glad the state government is keen on lifting the state to greater heights. They have been actively implementing various initiatives to enhance digital technology services, attract investments, upgrade the economy, promote tourism and so forth.
The Penang 2030 plan must ensure all policy-making actions benefit the people.
I believe that the end result of the 2030 plan would be able to bring happiness and prosperity to the state and people.
Lee Keng Fatt, creative editor, 57.
We may be having a hot spell now but just a few months back, we experienced wet weather and flood problems.
Having said that, Penang people look to the state government to remedy the situation or alleviate the perennial flood problems in the entire state.
Each time it rains for a reasonable period of time, parts of the city will be flooded, forcing unwanted evacuations. This has been going on for the last 50 years. Are we to live with it for the next 50 years?
To be fair to the state government, they did not receive much aid from the Putrajaya in the past 10 years to do mitigation works.
Penang urgently needs to build better infrastructure to cope with flood and traffic woes. If they are achieved, I am confident the goals of Penang2030 will be realised.
Yeoh Yu Zhe, 18, student.
Thanks for giving me the opportunity to share my thoughts about Penang2030 vision. I feel lucky to be invited for the FB fans meet-up session with CM Chow Kon Yeow recently and I later also attended his launching of Penang2030 book.
Penang is a food paradise. The Pearl of Orient always welcomes local and foreign tourists. Thus, I support the local governments (either MBPP or MPSP) for installing CCTVs to boost security and safety.
Unfortunately, I have to say that Penang is not a fully friendly place yet as it does not have enough facilities for everyone, especially for the disabled. I once saw a tourist fall as he accidentally stepped into a ditch without cover.
Hopefully, the local authorities will take note of this. Some drains are also full of rubbish. That’s one of the reasons why flash flood happens in Penang from time to time since some people keep throwing their rubbish anywhere.
Although we have cleaners doing their job daily, I wish that the authorities would strengthen enforcement besides educating the public on cleanliness.
Penang ferries are an iconic product of the state. Sometimes, not only Malaysians but also some tourists purposely ride the ferry to enjoy the experience and also the view. This is, however, marred by the late arrival of ferries. We often hear news about the ferry’s technical problems. Clearly, this historical brand needs rebranding because it is representing Penang too.
So, the ferry operator and other relevant authorities have to find ways to enhance the services of the ferries. Otherwise, the damage affects the public’s impression of Penang and ruins its reputation.
The Penang2030 contents are very impressive. As a Penangite, I hope that state government, stakeholders and others will work together to realise Penang2030 vision as soon as possible by balancing the development of the state and its ecosystem. Penang deserves a better future.
Ooi Lai Ter, 34, pharmacist.
I like Penang2030 particularly for prioritising the importance of the family unit. It’s not just about the development of one’s own family but the building of the people as one big family.
I hope the Penang government will disseminate more information to the public so that all will understand the roles each individual can play.
Other concepts in the Penang2030 like turning Penang into a green state and modernising its sector are commendable. Besides initiating programmes to enhance Penang’s vitality and liveability, more tourists will be attracted to the state.
I hope Penang2030 concepts can be implemented successfully. If the vision becomes a reality, the Penang people are the ones who will benefit.
Roshannisa Che Kassim, 45, businesswoman.
I hope the Penang2030 vision will come true as it covers all aspect of human life and affects every Penangite. It will help make Penang residents become more progressive, live in a healthier and peaceful environment by 2030.
The thing I like most about Penang2030 is gender equality. More women must be given the opportunity to make decisions.
Compared to years ago, Penang is now developing and progressing well. It is not only cleaner and peaceful but also is known in the world. It is not impossible for the state to emerge as the best in Malaysia and become better known in the world.
Muhammad Shahrizul Muiz Bin Mohamed Nasir, 27, personal assistant
Firstly, congratulations to Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow for coming out with Penang2030 vision.
As a young man who has lived in Penang for the past 27 years, also under the chief ministership of Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon and Lim Guan Eng before, I am proud that Chow Kon Yeow wants to make Penang a state that the world and the society highly respect and can look up to.
I fully support his plan, which gives prominence to uplifting our livelihood, economy and civic participation towards a progressive state.
If we look at the young generation today, the biggest issue confronting them is affordable housing in Penang. Even if they get an offer of a housing unit, the majority do not qualify for bank loans based on their income.
Furthermore, an applicant needs to wait at least five years to get an offer.
But I am happy to note that state Housing, Local Government, Town and Country Planning Committee chairman Jagdeep Singh Deo has assured that more affordable homes would be built.
In fact, he had stated that 102,054 units of low-cost and low-medium cost homes have been built, in the process of being built and approved to be built – surpassing 75,531 units as pledged in the manifesto by the year 2025.
The Penang2030 plan will also focus on providing various facilities for recreation, sports, arts and culture. Penang Hill is one good example where the improvements made have drawn as many as 244,000 tourists in December.
The ongoing ‘Gurney Wharf’ project, which is of world-class standard, will be a pride of the state. The diversity of activities that will happen there in a green atmosphere is in line with the state’s plan of a ‘Cleaner, Greener Penang’.
For arts, Penang can be proud of its graffiti paintings that allowed youths to express themselves.
However, I feel what the state government needs to look into is providing opportunities or space for graduates to be employable.
Penang2030 needs every Penangite’s effort to make it a success. So, we need to cooperate with the state government to make this vision come true for ourselves and our children.
Story by K.H. Ong