Exclusive | What’s next for Penang beyond Covid-19?

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Photo by David ST Loh.

PENANG launched its Penang2030 vision about three and a half years ago, on April 27, 2019.

 

It encompasses the whole spectrum of the state’s development moving forward.

 

The Penang2030 vision was formulated as a 10-year vision.

 

Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said that the Penang government is ready to take bigger steps to realise the vision after almost four years since it was launched.

 

Chow presenting the Penang2030 vision, themes and strategic initiatives.

 

“It is time to take bigger steps when more people understand our vision and mission. After more than three years, I am seeing acceptance.

 

“Our vision is to be a family-focused, green and smart state and all these are the policy direction of Penang,” he said recently.

 

The Penang2030 vision has four themes and 16 strategic initiatives.

 

Commenting on the Penang2030 vision, Chow said it was aimed at charting a direction for the Penang and its people moving forward, as well as, changing the way people look at the state.

 

“It is also a guide on how we should treat our state,” he said.

 

Stressing on the importance of sustainability, Chow said Penang has a great opportunity to ensure that society, as a whole, embraces green practices and sustainability.

 

“Going green, reducing carbon footprint, and embracing sustainability can be very noble at the top, but we still have a long way to go, in practice.

 

“Collectively, the society has not turned ‘sustainability’ into its habit or way of life.

 

“Some people may take part in initiatives which promote sustainability, while others may just get involved for a little while before going back to their old ways.

 

“I feel that Penang, as a state or as the government, has a lot to share with the world. We need many ‘champions’ in the government and the community to continue pushing and doing what is good for the state and its people,” he said, agreeing that while awareness among the people is growing, perseverance and practice remain challenging.

 

Chow (centre), Pulau Betong assemblyman Mohd Tuah Ismail (right), Penang Island City Council mayor Datuk Yew Tung Seang (second row, left) and the participants taking part in the City Ride in Balik Pulau.

 

Moving up the leadership from the executive council member who held the local government, public transport and flood mitigation portfolios, to the Penang Chief Minister, Chow said his focus now is on the state’s economy, investments, and land.

 

“My colleagues are continuing what we have started.

 

“Despite being one of the smallest states in Malaysia (by land mass), Penang enjoys strong manufacturing investments.

 

“Penang’s manufacturing sector remains attractive and is pulling in investments from various multinational corporations (MNCs).

 

“We continue to address the rising demand for talent in the state with the growing strategic investments into Penang,” he said.

 

Chow added that his focus was not only on the state’s economy, investments, and land.

 

“While economic development is important, social development is equally important.

 

“Social issues, welfare, housing, volunteerism, unity, and resilience are things that I want to pay more attention to going into the next term.

 

“I want the state to grow in that direction,” he said.

 

Chow said getting the people to be on the same page, heading in the same direction and having the same commitment as a society regardless of religious belief, were among the biggest challenges faced by his administration.

 

“We aspire for Penang to continue leading in some ways because of the way we govern, and our emphasis on things that matter which is different from other states and the country.

 

Chow aspires for Penang to continue leading.

 

“Perhaps, more people will start to notice that Penang is a different (unique) state,” he added.

 

 

Story by Christopher Tan