Speech by Lim Guan Eng whilst witnessing the signing ceremony of the Friendship City Status between Kaoshiung and Penang at the Taipei City Government Office on Tuesday, 29th March 2011 released on 30th March 2011:
Making Penang and Kaoshiung greener, cleaner & safer
Tonight we see the Penang and Kaoshiung City Council signing a memorandum on building friendship to promote bilateral trade and exchanges in the fields of culture, education and tourism. Under the memorandum of friendship city, the two cities pledged to promote friendship and cooperation, help each other in efforts to improve local governance and exchange information and experiences in promoting the development of cultural and creative industries.
Penang shares the same spirit as Kaoshiung as we believe that freedom and democracy are essential for economic prosperity and sustainable development for all. That is why when we signed the same memorandum with Taipei City Council, we wanted to do the same with Kaoshiung City Council on the same trip.
Therefore is a lot of room for tourism between both cities to grow. Penang registered a healthy growth in tourism last year. The Penang International Airport registered the highest growth rate among airports in Malaysia last year, recording a 25% increase with some 4.1 million passengers in 2010 compared with 3.3 million the year before. The second highest increase among airports was registered by the KL International Airport (KLIA) which saw a passenger volume hike of 14% over the same period.
To cater to this demand, the Malaysian government is carrying out a RM250 million Pg International airport expansion project. A total of 13 commercial passenger airlines and nine cargo airlines currently operate at the Penang Airport, for domestic and regional flights. The airport when completed in June 2012, would be able to cater to a capacity of 5 million passengers.
There is many similarities between both Penang and Kaoshiung. We have a busy port, famous for its fruits and food. Kaoshiung's bread is famous after winning the Bread world championships in 2008. Penang has invited the Mayoress of Kaoshiung to visit Penang. Apart from promoting bilateral trade, both cities agreed that efforts to make their cities greener, cleaner and safer.
*Lim Guan Eng, Penang Chief Minister