Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Services Industry, the Right Focus for Penang

Kudos to Penang CM Lim Guan Eng and his team for doing something very positive for the state. It has topped Malaysia's manufacturing investment chart for second year in a row. It is not something menial or trivial. Manufacturing is the bedrock of Penang's economy and has consistently providing employment to hundreds of thousands of workers from the northern region.

I know first hand that those who are running PDC, Invest Penang and several other state agencies are very proactive and responsive to the needs and inquiries from various investors and businesses.

The state has taken a few good steps such as the conservation and uplift of the Penang Chowrasta market. I have an affectionate memory of Penang's oldest wet market. My late dad used to take me there to sample some of the best nasi kandar and to buy local delicacies for our friends and visitors. I hope this would be a first step towards the revival of Chinatown which was vibrant and busy during the late 70's and 80's.

I could also sense an inevitable revival of the heritage enclave which has been attracting individual investors all over the world.

Credit should be given where it is due. I hope the Penang government would continue to do a good job and make Penang a model state in Malaysia. Its cultural charm is sticky and seductive. I can never get enough of it and look forward to my trips back home.

The focus on services is the right move and focus. Penang's services industry has a huge potential. We should envisage to attract the best brains, high worth MM2H residents who can bring with them not only investment but experience and skills and become a hub for intercultural exchange and innovation.

Penang has to become a beacon of hope and a model of how good governance, zero tolerance for corruption and a land of opportunity.

I would like the government to focus on job creation and economic diversification as its immediate plan.

Of course, we must not discount the contribution of the Federal government, Khazanah Nasional (especially its Penang chapter), civil society and others who had contributed to the reemergence of Penang as a commendable success story. This is only the beginning. I hope the success will continue.


Anonymous said...

Thank-you Koh Tsu Koon for laying the foundation and Lim guan Eng of continuing with the program.

hk said...

Yes, Khazanah has acted independently in heritage preservation via Think City. Hope they can allocate funds for other parts of Malaysia too.