PENANG Governor Tun Ahmad Fuzi Abdul Razak urged all parties to give their strong and undivided support to the current state government led by Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow.
Ahmad Fuzi said this is important to ensure the continuity of the state administration and also to realise the Penang2030 vision of ‘A Family-Focused Green and Smart State that Inspires the Nation’.
He said if there is an issue that needs to be addressed, it should be discussed in an appropriate platform and a responsible manner.
“This is crucial to prevent disruption to the stability and harmony of this state.
“Do not spread inaccurate or fake news and throw baseless accusations and criticisms against the Penang government, especially without any concrete evidence.
“This will not only able to disrupt the economic stability of this state but also disrupt the peace and harmony among the people,” Ahmad Fuzi said in his speech during the opening of the State Legislative Assembly today.
Ahmad Fuzi emphasised that the current exceptional accomplishments of the state were made possible by a well-defined and robust policy framework, supported by the effective implementation of various programmes aimed at enhancing the overall well-being of Penang.
“I encourage all elected representatives in Penang to consistently prioritise the Penang2030 vision as the primary guiding principle in the formulation and implementation of every policy, programme, or service.
“Every elected representative in the state should regularly engage with the community to introduce and elucidate each state government policy and programme, ensuring clear understanding and conveying the potential benefits to the people of Penang,” he said.
Ahmad Fuzi also commended the state’s excellent economic achievements.
“We have seen significant economic progress for Penang under the leadership of Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow with the support of the state machinery.
“In 2022, Penang’s economy experienced remarkable growth, surging by 13.1%, a substantial increase compared to the previous year’s growth rate of 6.9%. The recorded gross domestic product (GDP) value reached RM112.1 billion.
“According to the data released by the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (Mida), the manufacturing sector continues to be the driver of the state’s economic growth, with a significant increase from 12.4% in 2021 to 15.9% in 2022.
“Penang also recorded RM13.7 billion in approved manufacturing investment in 2022, involving 135 projects. The investments are expected to provide 15,752 new job opportunities.
“This makes Penang one of the highest contributors in the country, with a contribution of 16% in approved manufacturing investment in the country last year,” he said.
He added that foreign direct investment (FDI) accounted for RM9.7 billion or 71% of Penang’s manufacturing investment inflows in 2022, while the remaining RM4 billion or 29% were domestic direct investments (DDI).
“These impressive economic achievements show that Penang is on the right economic trajectory and has the potential to emerge as an important economic power in the Asian region,” said Ahmad Fuzi.
Ahmad Fuzi also congratulated the state government for being awarded the Clean Audit Certificate, as stated in the Auditor General’s Report 2022.
“This acknowledgment validates the state government’s commitment to maintaining financial integrity in its management practices.
“I was informed that the state government’s financial performance remains robust, with the consolidated fund’s accumulated balance at the end of the current year totalling RM1.859 billion, slightly reduced from RM2.117 billion at the close of 2021.
“Meanwhile, the state government’s public debt, which consists of debt to the Federal Government to finance development projects, showed a balance of RM41.11 million at the end of 2022 compared to RM45.41 million (2021), a decrease of RM4.30 million (9.5%).
“The Penang government has managed to reduce its debt by avoiding new loans from the Federal Government and by repaying existing loans on time.
“This commitment to excellence persists, exemplified by the Penang government, which has refrained from acquiring new loans from the Federal Government since 2016.
“And I hope that this excellence track record can be maintained to attract more investors to the state,” he said.
Ahmad Fuzi also requested the Federal Government to consider a higher development allocation for Penang especially for critical infrastructure projects in the state to minimise the traffic congestion and improve the traffic flow.
“Close cooperation between the state government and the Federal Government is crucial to ensure that planned development and infrastructure projects are implemented according to the set timeline so that the people can enjoy the benefits,” he said.
On a separate matter, Ahmad Fuzi strongly condemns the Israeli attacks on Gaza, and Palestine, which resulted in the deaths and injuries of thousands of civilians including children.
He also calls on the international community to urgently exert the utmost pressure on the Israeli regime to immediately cease its violations and aggression against the Palestinians.
In the one-hour speech, Ahmad Fuzi also spoke about active ageing, Penang Smart Parking (PSP), Artificial Intelligence (AI), digital economy, smart city, Big Data Analytics, Penang’s cashless initiatives and the treated water agreement between Penang and Perak.
Earlier, Ahmad Fuzi inspected the guard-of-honour mounted by the Penang Federal Police Reserve Force. The guard-of-honour, led by DSP Herman Sarip, comprised three officers and 102 members of other ranks.
Story by Riadz Akmal
Pix by Muhamad Amir Irsyad Omar
Video by Siti Nuratikah Rahmat