Penang aims to emulate Hong Kong’s openness

By Shannon Teoh
June 17, 2011 | The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, June 17 — Lim Guan Eng said today Penang will “learn more” from Hong Kong in embracing change and openly engaging regional neighbours.

The Penang chief minister told foreign correspondents in Hong Kong that the two “small states… have so much in common,” sharing a joint appreciation of open discussion and successfully putting “ourselves on the map internationally.”

“Here in Hong Kong, when the 1997 turnover happened, you embraced a new future. In 2008, in Penang and other Pakatan Rakyat-run (PR) governments, we also embraced the future and continue to do so,” he said, comparing the transfer of Hong Kong’s sovereignty from Britain to China with the March 2008 election in Malaysia when PR won five states.

The DAP secretary general added that “global political realignment since 1997 has also taught us of the need to never put all of one’s eggs in one basket, to diversify. This is why in Penang, while we are deeply engaged in working with China and Hong Kong, we also are eagerly engaging Indonesia, India, Thailand and Singapore, our regional neighbours.”

“We cannot be locked in the past and allow the past to close off possibilities of a better future,” he said.

The chief minister said that to maintain its competitiveness, Penang needed to revamp its infrastructure and all infrastructure projects would be awarded by open tender.

“We look forward to having new investment partners, and richer collaboration. Here in Hong Kong we want the financial sector to understand the reasons we are an attractive investment location, namely a new commitment to economic revitalisation and quality governance,” he said.

Lim added both Hong Kong and Penang knew that progress in a changing world required the states to “adapt and transform.”

“I have long admired Hong Kong’s adaptability and innovation, how it has managed to stay a leader in the financial sector and serve as a hub for economic growth in Northeast Asia. I am looking forward to learning more from Hong Kong and forging new ties here,” said the Bagan MP.

He added it was crucial to have “equal opportunities for the young and talented to grow and fulfil their potential.”

“We believe that this is the way forward for Penang to be both the sweat shop of the manufacturing and services sector and the smart shop for the future knowledge-based economy,” Lim said.

  1. #1 by sheriff singh on Friday, 17 June 2011 - 9:28 pm

    Both claim to be the ‘Pearl of the Orient’. Both are filthy and polluted.

  2. #2 by tak tahan on Friday, 17 June 2011 - 9:49 pm

    Bou nau!

  3. #3 by Godfather on Friday, 17 June 2011 - 10:42 pm

    do they have a nutcase like Ibrahim Katak in Hong Kong ?

  4. #4 by abetterworld on Friday, 17 June 2011 - 11:14 pm

    Why do you just look at the negative side, sheriff singh? If you’ll drop your blinkers, you’ll see that both are way better off than many parts of Asia.

  5. #5 by dagen on Saturday, 18 June 2011 - 12:03 am

    Hong Kong dirty and filthy sheriff? The last time I was there, HK was clean and orderly like singapore. It does not have the neat appearance like singapore though. Then again singapore property development (esp public housing) is (used to be something like) 80% government effort. Whereas HK is pretty much the reverse. Further, HK has nearly twice the number of daytime population of singapore. These two factors gave HK a less neat outwards appearance. But hey it is nevertheless clean and orderly. Pavement height and design throughout the island and NT were standardised and therefore the same. V little potholes in the roads. The way from chek lap kok to central HK I dont see a single lamp post not working. My HK relatives said that was because HK residents are fussy and always complaining. That sort of keeps the HK SAR government on their toes. Law enforcement is very very strict. Malaysia is no way comparable.

    And penang? Woow. I was there last yr and boy I was impressed by the change. I really was.

  6. #6 by monsterball on Saturday, 18 June 2011 - 2:02 am

    sheriff…When was the last time you went to H.Kong?

  7. #7 by cemerlang on Saturday, 18 June 2011 - 11:06 am

    Singapore is still well managed. You all must remember that soon Hong Kong will be fully controlled by China. Now it is just the transitional phase.

  8. #8 by Sallang on Saturday, 18 June 2011 - 3:36 pm

    Unlike HK and Spore, which are island states,
    Penang have the advantage of more land on the mainland for more FDIs.
    Penang can invite investments from around the region, and should consider any location within 5 hours of flying time as its hinterland.

  9. #9 by Winston on Saturday, 18 June 2011 - 7:50 pm

    Sheriff Singh, see?
    Those who don’t get their facts right will be hammered!

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