Forward    Feedback    


Speech by Lim Guan Eng in Komtar Building upon his swearing-in on Tuesday,11st March 2008: 

Penang DAP & PKR coalition government’s Agenda for Change to re-establish rule by the rakyat 

Three days ago, the people of Penang voted for change by giving DAP and PKR a clear mandate of a two-thirds majority to form a coalition government. Today, we present you the Agenda for Change – from this Government of the rakyat.

DAP and PKR’s coalition government’s Agenda for Change to re-establish rule by the rakyat will centre on the key areas of Economy, Governance and the Social Needs of the People.

This is a government that is based on democracy – the core of governance. This is a government that advocates and practices Integrity and Transparency. This is also a government that believes in equal opportunity and socio-economic justice.

PKR wakil rakyats led by their President YB WAN AZIZAH BINTI WAN ISMAIL and Penang PKR Chair YB Datuk ZAHRAIN MOHAMED HASHIM as well as DAP wakil rakyats are humbled by the strong mandate given by the people of Penang to us. We are committed to fulfilling our promises made in the last general elections. We shall work hard to try and not disappoint you. With the support of the Penang people, we are here to build a Dynamic Penang for All.

A dynamic economy for Penang’s future

We want to foster a harmonious relationship between the federal and the state governments in all aspects, as it is our earnest endeavour to create a strong, dynamic economy for the benefits of the people of Penang. To this purpose I shall be seeking an appointment to meet with the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi on listening and addressing the needs of the people of Penang expressed in the general elections on 8 March such as using Petronas proceeds to fully fund the construction cost of the Federal government’s 2nd Penang Bridge project.

We will adopt an investor-friendly policy and take active steps to attract local and foreign investments that create more high-paying jobs. Besides reviewing the incentive programmes to encourage the high-tech and manufacturing industries in upgrading themselves on the global value chain, we will also seek ways to assist the SMIs/SMEs to align themselves with the export markets in the region by using Penang as the base for their enterprises. We will hold dialogues and hear the inputs of investors and businesses to make Penang a competitive market economy.

More importantly, we will run the government administration free from the New Economic Policy (NEP) that breeds cronyism, corruption and systemic inefficiency. We will implement an open tender system for all government procurement and contracts. We will also practice transparency by uploading information of such tender bids in an internet portal to be set up in future for public access.

Instead, we strongly advocate a stakeholders’ economy for all – irrespective of race and religions – and based on the principle of shared prosperity in an equitable manner. We will encourage companies which undertake government contracts worth above RM10 million in Penang to contribute part of their profits for the benefits of the people.


Tourism has been a significant revenue generator for the state, and we want to see Penang re-capture its past glory as a major in-bound tourist destination for tourists from the local and the global markets. Health tourism that has now gained immense popularity in the region will be fully exploited as Penang could offer service packages that are similar, if not better, than those available outside the country. Tourism infrastructure will be enhanced and we will seek the views of the tourist industry on any regulatory obstruction that hampers the promotion of Penang as a major in-bound tourist attraction.

The state government of Penang will depend on Penang’s home grown talent to develop and prosper Penang to secure our place in the rapidly changing globalised world where skill and capital resources are of prime importance. Towards this objective, we will introduce various strategic steps to culminate in a “Brain Gain” effect where vast talents of the ‘Penang Diaspora’ now residing in all parts of the world, will either return to Penang, or network with the State Government’s initiatives from their adopted bases, to generate business opportunities.

Demoracy in governance

The DAP-PKR Coalition Government is a government that is based on the tenets of democracy – the core of governance.

We shall attempt to restore Local Government elections in accordance to provisions under Article 113(4) of the Constitution. We will take the necessary steps to return the third vote of the Parliamentary Democracy by the end of our term. In the interim, we will review the current practice of only political appointees as representatives in the municipal councils. We shall exercise section 10(2) of the Local Government Act by appointing some professionals in their respective profession, commerce or industry and representatives from the Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO) as members of local government.

Strict measures will also be taken to ensure municipal councilors and council officials enhance the quality of public services. We will not compromise on the responsiveness in service delivery.

This state government will uphold the spirit of the Constitution to allow all people to enjoy basic human rights including freedom of religion and speech. We will direct our Members of Parliament, alongside other elected representatives, to initiate the enacting of a Freedom of Information Act to allow full access of available information that does not harm public interest.

Open tender system for government procurement and contracts

We subscribe to Integrity and Transparency in our governance. Government procurement will only be awarded through open tender, and priority will be given to Penang-incorporated contractors. An online portal will be set up to publish the list of qualified contractors, and the tendering process and relevant details, for public scrutiny.

Similarly, the Chief Minister, State EXCO members, Speaker and Deputy Speaker together with the respective heads of Majlis Perbandaran Pulau Pinang and Majlis Perbandaran Seberang Perai will be required to publicly declare their personal assets.

Social needs of the people

Scarcity of land for residential holdings has led to escalating costs and prices of housing. This government will seek ways to bring affordable housing to the Penang People besides enhancing the quality of life of the house owners.

Traffic congestion has become worse and a public transport that is still unreliable. We shall be seeking views and inputs to see how both problems can be resolved and commit ourselves to a significant improvement by the end of our term.

I will meet the president of the Majlis Perbandaran Pulau Pinang (MPPP) and other relevant state agencies today to review the suitability of the entire Penang Global City Centre (PGCC) project that has aroused much concern among the Penang People.

I will also meet up with the relevant federal agencies today on how and whether it is possible to cancel the collection at the Sungai Nyior toll plaza that has triggered serious public complaints and unhappiness.

Waiver of all summonses involving hawker licenses and parking fees before March 11 2008

The Penang state government firmly believes in shared prosperity, and we have a heart for the lower income group who are burdened by the escalating cost of living. We have promised to take care of the poor and the lower income group of the society.

As a first step, I hereby announce that all compounds and summons for offences involving parking and hawker license issued by MPPP and MPSP before today, March 11, shall be waived.

However, we need to stress vehemently that it takes both the government and the People to realize the ideals for a Dynamic Penang. We must remember that the waiver for the arrears of offences for parking and hawker licences is just a one-time arrangement to help reduce the burdens faced the people, especially the poor.

On the other hand, there are larger-picture issues involved. In the past, Penang has earned recognition for the wrong reasons, including the notoriety as being “filthy”, and having a “chaotic traffic system”. As the Penang people have voted for change, we should also bid farewell to such stigmas and resolve to change our past habits. Let us each do our part to keep our traffic orderly, and to help our hawkers maintain a clean and healthy environment.

But more importantly, the new Penang state government is the Government of the People. We want the people of Penang to treat your government as your friend. And friends must work together and complement each other to make a Dynamic Penang a reality.

* Lim Guan Eng, Chief Minister of Penang, MP for Bagan, SA for Air Puteh & DAP Secretary-General


Your e-mail:

Your name: 

Your friend's e-mail: 

Your friend's name: