PENANG will not rest on its laurels after transforming itself in the past 50 years of industrialisation but will strive to maintain excellence for the next 50 years and beyond, says Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow.
He said from a traditional seaport economy in 1972 to the Silicon Valley of the East, Penang is now one of the country’s key focal points for investment inflows and external trade.
“The state’s commendable performance that continues to punch above its weight is testament to the state’s conducive environment, placing us at the forefront of industrialisation.
“I would like to express my deepest appreciation to all industry players for the continued confidence in Penang, as well as the state and Federal agencies for the concerted efforts in solidifying Penang’s position as a preferred investment location throughout this 50-year industrialisation journey.
“The five decades of manufacturing excellence have laid the groundwork for Penang to unlock limitless potential.
“Going forward, the state is cognizant of the emerging trends and strive to uphold our competitive edge by penetrating into high value-added activities while strengthening the existing industry clusters,” Chow said in his speech at the launching ceremony of the 50th Anniversary of Penang’s Industrialisation at the Penang Development Corporation in Bayan Baru today.
Penang is holding a year-long celebration for its successful transformation journey, embracing the tagline for the celebration as “50 Years of Excellence and Beyond” to further propel the state to greater heights.
Penang Development Corporation and Invest Penang are jointly organising the celebration, with Datuk Seri Lee Kah Choon, the special adviser to the chief minister, as the organising chairman.
Chow said there would be 12 themes altogether for this year’s celebration. They will be announced from time to time, with a different theme for each of the 12 months.
He said the state is delighted to have industry players like Aemulus, ams-OSRAM, Angkasa-X, Boston Scientific, Exabytes, Inari Amertron, Intel, Keysight, Penang GBS Focus Group and Penang Skills Development Centre (PSDC), as the theme drivers for the meaningful celebration.
Aside from shining a spotlight on Penang’s 50 years of manufacturing excellence which houses top-notched industry players, the curated themes also focus on industries with countless possibilities, including electrical & electronics (E&E), medical technology, digital technology & global business service (GBS), food technology and space technology.
Apart from these, local technopreneurship and startups are among the themes that are apt to be showcased, featuring the capabilities and breakthroughs of homegrown companies.
All the themes, Chow said, coincide with the Penang2030 vision of a “A Family-Focused Green and Smart State that Inspires the Nation”.
“With the uptake of fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) technologies that drive productivity and growth, innovation and talent are imperatives that formed the core of Penang’s digitalisation journey.
“Innovation-related programmes, alongside plans on talent attraction and development will be carried out this year.
“In addition, Penang pledges to hold sustainability as one of our top priorities. As such environmental, social and governance (ESG) is firmly on the agenda,” Chow added.
Chow later unveiled the celebration’s logo design, which uses a blue and gold combination to portray modernity and grandeur inspired by the colours of the Penang state flag.
Describing the logo design, Chow said a blue gradient is often associated with technology, digitalisation and intelligence, which ties with Penang’s aspirations towards a new era of industrialisation.
The logo, Chow added, also incorporates elements of binary codes to create a distinct futuristic icon that commensurate with the state’s digitalisation objective.
Lee said the past 50 years have been a very important chapter in Penang’s history, starting with high unemployment rate in 1972 and as of today, the state does not have enough workers for the industries.
He said there are three main objectives in holding the year-long celebration, not just to celebrate the past achievements but also to look to the future.
“The first is to thank the industries which have grown with us and impart all the knowledge to our workforce. We also want to thank those engineers as well as all the stakeholders for the past 50 years for making Penang into what it is today.
“The second is to take cognizance of the challenges we face today and if there is a shift in technology, Penang is in a better place to take the shift to another direction. We have the technology, the companies and the talents to go to the next level.
“The third is to look at the opportunities that we have and how the state can ride on them to continue with our industrialisation,” Lee explained.
He said even during this pandemic, Penang still managed to contribute 32 percent of the total export of the country, 60 percent of the E&E total export of Malaysia and at least 8% of the semi-conductor products globally.
He believes interesting times are ahead as Penang takes stock of what it has achieved and builds on its foundation to ensure it continues to progress in the technological sphere and economic perspective.
Also present at the ceremony were State Secretary Datuk Dr Ahmad Jailani Muhamed Yunus, Invest Penang chief executive officer Datuk Loo Lee Lean, PDC deputy CEO Abdul Latiff Abdul Aziz and former PDC general manager Datuk Seri Chet Singh.
Story by K.H. Ong
Pix by Law Suun Ting
Video by Noor Siti Nabilah Noorazis