Speech by Lim Guan Eng at "the Penang Dialogue 2 in Singapore" at the Penang Industry & Tourism Office (PITO) in Beach Street, Singapore on Friday, 25th February 2011 at 7pm:
Only 6% of the population yet Penang contributes 36% of Malaysia's FDI in 2010: Penang must not live in the past but learn from the past so that we can save the future for our children
The Jasmine Revolution in the Middle-East will have serious repercussions not just geo-politically but even economically. The political crisis have disrupted global oil supplies and caused oil prices to rise dramatically. This has introduced an element of uncertainty in global economic growth. As a result, many countries including Singapore and Malaysia will likely call for general elections sooner rather than later when the economy may deteriorate.
However we are not here to talk about elections but the business and employment opportunities in Penang. That requires sustainable policies that guarantees both peace and prosperity for Penang.
To attain peace and prosperity Malaysians must stand united and reject those who wish to divide us by preaching racial and religious hatred. If we want to benefit from equal opportunities and realize our human potential we must stop extremists from continually degrading others as inferiors so as to uplift ourselves.
Let no one tell us that you are not good enough because of the colour of your skin. No child should be made to feel inferior just because you are Chinese, Malay, Indian, Kadazan or Iban. Let us tell every Malaysian that you can be as good as you want to be.
We can only achieve harmony together. Despite our differences and diversity, Malaysians can make our common aspirations of freedom, justice, democracy and truth come true if we remember some key values.
We can only be prosperous together. Human talent is the new oil of this century. Focus on how we can build, train, retrain, retain and attract new talent that stresses on excellence, creativity and innovation. We must never compromise on fighting corruption, inefficiency and wastage.
Penang's emphasis on CAT governance of Competency Accountability and Transparency has made Penang corrupt-free, more efficient and enjoy record budget surpluses. Penang is now cleaner, greener and safer. The same people as before are making Penang cleaner and greener. The only difference from before is that we use a different system, a positive work ethic and inculcate a team spirit based on performance.
For those who say that PR do not know how to govern and do not have the experience, Penang is now much safer. Penang has the highest reduction in crime index in the country last year dropping by 27%. More importantly for the first time in history, Penang came out top in investments with RM 12.2 billion or 26% of Malaysia's total investments of RM47.2 billion in 2010. With only 6% of the population Penang contributed 36% of Malaysia's foreign direct investment(FDI).
Penang must not live in the past but learn from the past so that we can save the future for our children. We must continue to learn from our mistakes in the past and free ourselves from fear, corruption and extremism. Let us embrace a future of equal opportunity, of knowledge and innovation, of love and of hope. Then only can we live, learn, work, play and enjoy the successes together.
*Lim Guan Eng, Penang Chief Minister