Penang ready to celebrate golden jubilee of its industrialisation journey next year


PENANG is set to celebrate the 50th anniversary of its industrialisation journey next year.


Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said the state government has curated a year-long series of events for the celebration.

Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow

“Penang Development Corporation (PDC) and InvestPenang will be leading this celebration for the state.


“This is also in conjunction with two upcoming international tech events that will be held in Penang, namely the SEMICON Southeast Asia (SEA) 2022 and World Congress Information Technology (WCIT) 2022.


“SEMICON Southeast Asia will be held in June 2022. Carrying the theme ‘Forward As One – Towards Resilience and Sustainability’, the event aims to explore building resilience to better withstand unpredictable disruptions as the industry moves ahead as one cohesive ecosystem.


“On the other hand, the WCIT, which is known as the Olympics of the world’s information technology conferences, will be held in Penang in September next year, with the theme of ‘Connecting the World’. InvestPenang is the lead agency for WCIT 2022.


“Meanwhile, four state machineries, namely InvestPenang, PDC, Penang Island City Council (MBPP) and Seberang Perai City Council (MBSP), will be working closely with the organisers to host and promote these two major events,” he said.


Chow announced this during his opening remarks in the online discourse session with the Malaysia Semiconductor Industry Association (MSIA) at the Penang Legislative Assembly building today.

Among those present during the online session were Chief Minister of Penang’s special investment adviser Datuk Seri Lee Kah Choon, InvestPenang chief executive officer Datuk Loo Lee Lian and MSIA president Datuk Seri Wong Siew Hai.


According to Chow, Penang, known as the ‘Silicon Valley of the East’, is underpinned by its decades of industry excellence and robust ecosystem.


“The arrival of the ‘8 Samurais’ (early manufacturers who set up their companies in Penang) in 1972 has sparked the development of a vibrant industrial ecosystem and anchored the state position as a preferred location for MNCs (multinational corporations).


“Importantly, Penang has also nurtured numerous homegrown technopreneurs, founding and building companies that have grown to become internationally renowned in their own right,” he added.


Chow said Penang’s 50 years industrialisation journey is definitely a significant milestone that the state has achieved.


“It would not have been possible without the contributions from all industry players along this journey.


“Particularly, the year 2020 and 2021 have been very challenging for everyone due to the Covid-19 pandemic.


“Thus, I would like to express my deepest appreciation to all industry players for coming together with the state government to navigate during the tough time.


“We will surely emerge stronger and be able to pace ourselves for future growth,” added Chow.


Chow also said the Penang government remains committed to be the leader, the enabler and the propeller by offering a competent platform for all industry players to scale and thrive.


“We will continue to spearhead the development of a sustainable ecosystem, including the physical and digital infrastructure, workforce, environment and liveability of Penang; all of which are believed to set the state on the right trajectory to attracting high quality investors and reaching greater heights,” he added.


Wong said MSIA is looking forward to the important celebration.


“I encourage our member companies of MSIA to participate in the event next year, and to help spread the words about the Penang 50th anniversary of the industrialisation journey,” he said.


On a separate matter, Wong also raised an issue about the talent war in the state.


To this, Chow replied that the issue has already been brought up to the Federal Government.


“At the same time, I also think that there is a need to have a proper approach and a more holistic plan with regard to how we are going to tackle this issue in Penang.


“The war for talent refers to an increasingly competitive landscape for recruiting and retaining talented employees.


“So, I think that Datuk Seri Lee, Datuk Loo, Datuk Seri Wong and other industry captains should work together to form a special task force to highlight this issue more effectively,” added Chow.


Among other things highlighted during the two-hour discourse session were updates about member companies of MSIA, state talent pool, employments, investment strategy, trade investment, electrical and electronics (E&E) industry, Covid-19 situation and many others.


Story by Riadz Akmal
Pix and video by Alissala Thian