Revitalising and Transforming Penang

September 10, 2011

Revitalising and Transforming Penang

The mainstream media did not report on this speech by Penang’s Chief Minister, Lim Guan Eng which was delivered at the Foreign Correspondents Club , Singapore  August,12, 2011. The reason is pretty obvious to all of us. Penang is governed by Pakatan Rakyat, not the Gerakan Party, a component party in the Barisan Nasional coalition, which was resoundingly rejected by the people of Penang in March, 2008.

That Penang has been transformed cannot be disputed. Just take a trip there and experience for yourself the transformation that has been taking place over the last 3 years under the Pakatan government. A good story needs to be told, and I sincerely think that the speech by Chief Minister deserves to be read. In times of gloom and doom, we need to hear of successes so that our sagging spirits can be resuscitated. The mood there in Penang is refreshing and a lot has to do with good governance by a group of young and honest leaders.

For Penangites, there is new energy propelled by a new hope of better times ahead under Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng. There is still plenty to do in the state–more hard work and sweat, so to speak– and transformation will require a partnership of the people of Penang, the private sector, and the state government.

The Penang Story is inspirational. Basically, it is about a People-centric government that is founded on the principle of Justice for All and one that achieve results through competency, accountability and transparency. This state government, led by its dynamic, well rounded and grounded, and hard working Chief Minister, Lim Guan Eng. is revitalising Penang. –Din Merican

Transforming Penang in a Changing World

by Lim Guan Eng, Chief Minister of Penang

I come here (to Singapore) as the Chief Minister of Penang, one of four states led by Pakatan Rakyat or the People’s Pact, the opposition coalition in Malaysia. I am from the Democratic Action Party (DAP), one of three coalition partners.

I am extremely proud to be given the opportunity to govern the beautiful vibrant state of Penang and am delighted to have the opportunity to speak to you. I hope by the end of my remarks you will consider coming to visit and invest in Penang , as it continues to be an attractive location for business and pleasure alike.

It is wonderful to be in Singapore. We have so much in common; shared history and people.  Our bonds are deeply intertwined, culturally, politically and economically.I would like to highlight some of our common features. We are both small states that have punched above our weight economically through the hard work and creativity of our people. We have both been successes despite our size and obstacles we share.

Today, more than 25% of Malaysia’s exports in terms of value and volume come from Penang  –  more than half of the country’s electronics are produced there  –  and we are among the top tourist destinations in Malaysia with a record numbers of visitors.  Like Singapore , we appreciate the importance of planning, a favorable market environment for investors and fiscal responsibility. We both have worked hard to put ourselves on the map internationally, and have done so successfully. We both know that in order to progress, we need to adapt and transform.

I have long admired Singapore’s adaptability, how it has managed to respond to financial crises such as those in 2003 and 2008 and continues to be a role model for promoting economic growth in Southeast Asia . I am also deeply interested in the reforms that Singapore will introduce to address the social concerns that were brought to light in the recent May election, as the challenges Singapore faces in addressing inequalities and promoting integration are common across the region. I am looking forward to learning more from Singapore and deepening ties here.  Penang has recently re-branded itself as a location of choice for investors and destination of choice for tourists.

Penang: Top Tourist Destination and Investment Center for Malaysia

We are one of the top 3 tourist destinations in Malaysia . We are the top investment state in Malaysia in 2010 drawing investments from all over including Singapore . Penang contributes towards 36 % of Malaysia’s FDI despite having only 6 % of the country’s population.

There are 7 key factors that account for our success as a location of choice for investors :

1. Ready availability of human talent;

2. Effective and efficient supply chain management;

3. Competent and reliable logistics and communications hub;

4. Strong Intellectual Property protection;

5. Good, non-corrupt, governance and effective leadership;

6. Building creativity and innovation in science and technology; and

7. Livable and safe city environment

For these reasons, in our quest to be the smart shop of the Software Valley knowledge-based economy, we are mindful of being a livable city and creating a vibrant urban environment.  ECA International listed Penang as the most livable city in Malaysia on par with KL. Penang is world-famous for our street food and CNN recently placed our Penang asam laksa as the 7th best food in the world.  KPMG International listed us as one of 30 global Business Process Outsourcing Centre for the future.

We are proudly a UNESCO World Heritage City for our outstanding universal value of cultural diversity and living heritage. But what then for the future.  As I thought about my trip to Singapore, I realized it was important to highlight the need for adaptation,  to adjust to new circumstances.   Events over the last week in the market place highlight how vulnerable we are to sudden changes in economic fortunes and developments in the global economy. To survive and thrive, we need to adapt.

Singapore did this in 2003, more recently after the 2008 financial crisis and continues to do so in response to the uncertain evolving global economy. We believe that in order to be sustainable and thrive it is necessary to balance economic growth with greater equitable development for all.     We know Penang must find its own niche as an international and intelligent city.

Branding for Penang is important that is synonymous with quality, reliability, safety, sustainability and integrity.  Equally important is social cohesion and inclusion towards a shared society that allows democratic participation,  respect for diversity and individual dignity,  equal opportunity and prohibition of discrimination. But most crucial of all is equal opportunities for the young and talented to grow and fulfill their potential.

A Changed World

I would like to take the marker of 2003 as a shared one to begin the discussion, over eight years ago.   For Singapore this was a difficult year, one in which SARS and the region slowdown acutely affected your economy and brought home some of the vulnerabilities of the closer global links with China and the slowdown of the US economy. This year was also significant in Malaysia, in that it marked the year which former premier Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamed stepped down from office. New leaders have come into office since then, with new ideas. I am part of the new generation of leaders.  We share an appreciation of the need to reform and adapt.

Gone are the days when hardware – new HDB flats, new roads and clinics  –  can satisfactorily meet the needs of our people. We face the common task of bringing the more difficult software to our citizens, the tangible but intangible concerns with quality of life, while simultaneously strengthening institutions to bring about these changes.

Need to Plan for Uncertainty

This brings me to the first main point about today’s changing world  –  the advent of crisis. In our region we have now seen two major financial crises and a series of natural disasters, most recently illustrated by the tragic March 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan. We do not yet know the impact of the developments in the financial markets over the last week. It has now become normal to expect the unknown.  None of us are fully ready for a crisis, but we have learned that we have to put in place conditions for preparedness.We need to plan for uncertainty. 

In Penang I have adopted measures to help the state to be prepared for the unknown within the confines that a Chief Minister can implement. We have improved the state’s financial position with three years of consecutive record surpluses and rescuing a local town council, that lost RM230 million, from bankruptcy. I believe strongly in financial responsibility.  A financial base is not enough, however.  It is vital to strengthen the political institutions. Professionalising the civil service, establishing some of the institutions of civil society such as setting up the first Speaker’s Corner in Malaysia and enacting the Freedom of Information Act.

This new model of governance  –  that is tied to a recognition of the need to think toward the future–is a vital step not only today, but for that rainy day when conditions change.  If anything we have learnt in the past decade or so is that change is inevitable,  and we must be as ready as we can to face the new horizon.

Forging links and networks regionally

Part of today’s changing world involves a need to forge links and networks regionally including with China .  We must give recognition of our special relationship with these countries including Singapore where we are bonded by blood, tested by time and driven by shared values of excellence, competitiveness and integrity. From early on, as part of the Straits Settlements, Singapore and Penang have shared strong bonds.   Many a Penangite has migrated to or works in Singapore, and many a Singaporean visits Penang. The nearly 20 flights daily to and fro between our two islands are full.

Need to Diversify

Thirdly, we should never put our eggs in one basket.We need to diversify. Despite our close linkages with our traditional investors in electronic industry from Japan , Europe and US,  we are deeply engaged in working with China and India as well as our regional neighbors Singapore , Indonesia and Thailand as well. The focus is not just on investment, but broadening tourism and cultural exchanges.

Our MYPenang campaign featured in June-July in Dhoby Ghaut illustrated graphically common historical and personal ties. It highlighted the many tourist attractions of our state. This initiative, along with our other outreach efforts, reflects a rebranding of our state, one in which we inspire those who have not visited Penang for many years to return or come for the first time.

I cannot emphasize enough that we are indeed a new Penang , and aim to strengthen our international profile in this every changing global context. The global changes in the world are not also taking place within in Asia. In the last six months we have seen what scholars are already labeling the fourth wave of democracy, the powerful political revolutions that others have labeled the Arab spring in the Middle East.

From Tahril Square in Cairo to the more disturbing recent confrontations in Syria and Yemen, the demands for political change highlight the fact that people want fairer better political systems. Even in Singapore the call for change had greater resonance in May.

Be People-Centric

This brings me to the fourth point: the need to anchor what we do in our people  –  to be people-centric. Everything we do as leaders should be driven by a desire to serve the people. In the Middle East and elsewhere, corruption, greed and self-interest have eroded public confidence and destroyed public faith in leadership. 

Political institutions from the judiciary to the police have been weakened by vested interests aiming to protect the few, the elite, rather than the people at large. The lessons from the Middle East are clear  –  that elites that do not serve the people and are more interested in power and their own pocket book will be opposed.  Malaysia’s contemporary Bersih movement draws from many of the same concerns in today’s Middle East.  We want stronger political institutions, fairer opportunities for all and clean governments.

Transparency and Accountability in Governance

Penang’s mantra from the day I took office has been the same  –  absolutely no corruption.   None.  The large investments in Penang for infrastructure is by open tender, committed to good governance, and open to all. Penang is proud to be the only state in Malaysian history to be praised by Transparency International. We must create opportunities for everyone.  The people must be served by having a government that protects their interests, rather than one that is self-interested.

My final point though obvious is crucial for small states dependent on the world economy like Penang , the need to effectively manage globalization. Rising oil prices and rising incomes in China have contributed to inflationary pressures that are being felt throughout Asia . Partisan politicking in the US and an unwillingness to make tough decisions on the Euro debt crisis in Europe are now having their affects. It is thus our responsibility as leaders to minimize these negative effects on our people.

Changing the World

I am a young leader in this new challenging and changing world.  Our success as today’s leaders will be judged by how we transform our countries and use our most important resource to develop  –  our people. To use an economic analogy, our success depends on our people moving up the value chain,  a context where the needs  –  physical and psychological  –  our people are being met and maximized.

This brings me to the second section of my remarks,  the steps needed to change the world,  our world here in Asia, but especially my world in Penang and Malaysia . In this day and age where financial interest and materialism is a driver in the economy, and alas sadly sometimes for others in politics,  I cannot emphasis enough the need to have a moral core and set of ideals that guide our actions in government.

Malaysia’s opposition of Pakatan Rakyat –  whether it is my party the Democratic Action Party,  the Islamic Party of Malaysia,  PAS,  or Anwar Ibrahim’s party Parti Keadilan Rakyat  –  is guided by a set of common ideals  –  broader democracy, fairness, human dignity, hard work and mutual respect.  We are bound together by a shared goal, to make Malaysia a stronger and fairer nation for all of our citizens of every community and background.

I am very proud to be a Malaysian, and everything I do is directed at making our country stronger and better. I have personally witnessed the struggle of ordinary Malaysians to make ends meet in these difficult uncertain times and the hardship that some families endure. My own family comes from humble means and I understand daily challenges to find a uniform for your child,  to provide the best education for your children,  to know that you have enough income to provide for your loved ones,  and importantly, to be able to live a life with dignity and security.

When the politics in my country is full of personal attacks, many fabricated by newspapers that engage in storytelling of hatred,  I draw strength from my knowledge that what I do is for Malaysia , for all Malaysians. I draw inspiration from the many people  –  across ethnic communities  –  who walked the streets last month in a call for Bersih, a cleaner electoral system and better Malaysia .

As a people-centric government, the most important goal is to provide equal opportunities for all especially the opportunity for our children to realize their potential.   Nothing can be sadder than to destroy the confidence of a child with obsolete and dangerous racist ideology that one’s child is never good enough and must be forever dependant on the tongkat or the wheelchair,  and they will never be rewarded for their good performances no matter how deserving they are. To attain peace Malaysians must stand united and reject those who wish to divide us by preaching racial and religious hatred.

Stop Extremists

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. 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 key values. That it is not who we are that is important, but what we are that is important;  not the colour of our skin that is important but the content of our character;  and not our past ancestry that is important but how we connect with the present and with each other to face the future.     We cannot be locked in the past and allow the past to close off possibilities of a better future. 

Here in Singapore , when the 2003 SARS crisis happened, you embraced a new future together.  No matter the political differences in the recent May general elections, Singaporeans were unified in wanting a better country and a better future for Singaporeans. In 2008,   in Penang and other Pakatan Rakyat-run governments, we also embraced the future and we continue to do so.  Change is an ongoing process, one in which as leaders we must nurture.

To be honest, sometimes it can be quite frustrating, and often I am overtired in my dedication to making results happens as soon as possible.  We know that the time has come to leave behind policies that are not working and adopt new initiatives.  We know that we cannot let the anguish and hurt of the past blind us to a new future.     Our country is strong because of our ethnic and religious diversity, where all communities can practice their faith and know that they have a secure place in our nation’s future. We know that we have to embrace the young, and learn from the wisdom of the old.

Our Policy Direction

I wanted to take a moment to share with you some of the concrete policy frameworks we are adopting in Penang.This foreshadows some of the ideas in the forthcoming Penang Blueprint from 2011 to 2015. This blueprint was drafted by the state’s think tank Socio-Economic and Environmental Research Institute (to be renamed Penang Institute this year) and is the result of dialogues across the state. From the onset, we have recognized the need to think of new innovative approaches and ideas to move Penang and Malaysia forward, and welcome further inputs.

“Reviving Penang’s Livability”

Allow me to share some of the core ideas in the forthcoming Penang Blueprint. We have grouped them under the “Rs” :The first point I want to emphasize is “Reviving Penang’s Livability” by being sustainable. Penang is the first green state in Malaysia. In the past we have been known as the Pearl of the Orient, and our policies are framed around bringing back the luster of the past.

We are a living heritage city,  a UNESCO World Heritage site,  and we have been working to promote and enhance our heritage monuments. We know that livability is not just about the buildings and new land developments–and we have quite a few exciting property and commercial developments coming– but also about the maintaining the quality of the physical environment and affordable housing.

In Penang, we led Malaysia in the introduction of green initiatives such as the “no plastic bag campaign” and we are actively exploring housing programs for lower income and middle class residents. One of our most challenging policy areas has been improving traffic and transportation.  We have offered more public transportation options, such as a free bus from the mainland for factory workers, and are exploring plans to diversify road transportation options.

We also appreciate the cultural and psychological dimensions of livability, and have actively worked to encourage the arts and create open spaces. Last month we held a very successful Georgetown Festival of the arts highlighting dancing, film and cuisine.  Artists know that Penang is a place where creativity is valued and showcased.

Revitalizing the state’s business environment.

A parallel “R” is “Revitalizing the state’s business environment.” We are streamlining the process for permits and licenses to reduce the red tape. We have removed the biggest obstacle of all, the alleged payoff. We have created a special unit to support small and medium enterprises and upgrading infrastructure.  A marker of the infrastructural upgrades is Penang’s new airport,  where the substantial renovations are expected by next year that will allow for more flow of tourists and investors.

Reducing costs to business and creating a working environment that is conducive to success is essential for the brighter future for Penang and Malaysia as a whole.  Part of the revitalization process has been to invest in the city core of Georgetown , knowing that the synergies between the city and other parts of Penang are strong and extend outwards.

The 2009 World Bank Report on Globalization stressed that the city is an economic unit and as such can serve as a lynchpin in promoting multifaceted growth and development. We in Penang believe that building cities not only serves national development,  it has important positive spillovers for the state as a whole.

“Reclaiming Responsibilities“.

Let me highlight a third “R” – “Reclaiming Responsibilities”. The state governments have been overshadowed in Malaysia by the federal government. There is a limited range of areas where I as a chief minister have jurisdiction. We are working to reclaim these responsibilities. We believe that decentralization of decisions and resources is absolutely necessary to effectively reach communities.

As such, we are introducing social safety net policies such as our program for the elderly at the state level. We have also empowered and energized the local councils,  and the results are obvious to any visitor. Penang is cleaner and safer. We know that as state leaders that the local is important, and that every citizen sees their government from their everyday experience.

We are taking responsibility for what the constitution allows us to implement and building on our deeper knowledge of local conditions. These ideas are part of a broader strategy of moving Malaysia out of what the World Bank has labeled the “middle-income” trap.  Livability, economic revitalization and political decentralized with more efficient and fairer governance.

Yahoo Travel recently listed Penang as one of the 10 top islands in the world you must explore before you die. For those who have come to Penang we can all die happy.  I have shared with you some of contemporary Penang’s story, how we are going about transforming Penang in a changing world. We ask you to come to Penang , to see for yourself the success where we build the future for our youths as well as our youths for the future.

Speech by The Honourable Lim Guan Eng Chief Minister of Penang At Foreign Correspondents Club , Singapore  August,12, 2011

43 thoughts on “Revitalising and Transforming Penang

  1. LGE is just trying to move away from the tyranny of the centre. He is making ‘Made in Penang, Malaysia” rather leaving Penang’s future in the hands of random [unfavorable] events from other parts in Malaysia that can destroy Penang’s good reputation.

  2. I love Penang but I hat the damn traffic and the road system in Penang. Not helped by Penangites who have the worst road manners in the country , much worse than those drivers from the Klang Valley.

    If you travel along the road along Tanjung Bunggah from Batu Ferringhi to the city, you find lanes disappearing at one stretch to the right and then at another stretch to the left.

    Lim Guang and his mob Komtar should get out of their office and spend more time on the road to see for themselves. Living a problem does not mean the problem didn’t exist.

    It is no point trying to get more investment than the road system is so bad that a businessman spends more time trying to get out of traffic in a small island. Time is money… and spending time on the road is a cost.

  3. correction

    It is no point trying to get more investment when the road system is so bad that a businessman spends more time trying to get out of traffic in a small island.

  4. I m fine with your view that this is inspirational.- Ellese

    Who gives a hoot whether YOU are fine with the bloghost’s view. We don’t need YOUR approval. Sheeesh!!!

  5. It does not matter Malacca is under BN. BN or PR cannot change cultural and social, or geographical factors.

    The fact is that it is behind Penang because of two things. First, it has just started, and second, there is neither an international airport nor natural deep water port at the doorsteps of the foreign MNCs.

    For the economic progress of small states, these are essential because the cycle of high-value outout must be high due to serious space and resource constraints. Therefore there must efficiency, and the talents to make high value products.

    For efficiency, the investments must be big which means the markets have to big and global to justify the quantum. In this sense, the FDIs are
    very important, and the MNCs are connected to the markets worldwide.

    To attract talents (both foreign and local), the living conditions [good salaries] must be condine. Best food, and living conditions are just two of the many. Schools and higher or continuing education institutions can become relevant to retain these talents on a long term basis.

    Penang has a good reputation globally, and it even challenges Singapore on many fronts. That we all know already.

    But Penang also has its internal constraints coming from Kuala Lumpur (KLs) who may not want to see Penang going faster [or too fast] and put other states in the shadows.

    The formerly Penang free port was taken away by for obvious reasons, and purportedly to develop Port Kelang which is nearer to the center of political power in Kuala Lumpur. That not only nearly destroyed Penang’s economy, but also speeded up Singapore’s climb to become number one in Asia [no malice meant intrended here].

    Would have Singapore’s port become number one if Penang Port still had its free port status? If Penang Port had retained its free port status, the pattern of development could have been concentrated in the north of peninsula Malaysia. This is open for discussions.

    Coming to BN’s open inclination to make Malacca challenge Penang, by force-feeding development for Malacca, and at the same time, putting all sorts of booby traps for Penang, BN is doing something dangerous for Malaysia much like the alleged existence of phantom voters in the electoral rolls.

    Following the above paragraph, BN again is trying to do a ‘Port Klang’ stunt. BN is trying to force equate Penang to Malacca because BN is always seeing through the political eye glass.

    Penang is one state that can make Singapore or any other country in this region run for its money. It is a gaint killer, so to speak. I think most Malaysians would like to see Malaysia = Penang, and not Malaysia = Malacca.

    That does not mean Malacca should be forgotten. It should be managed properly to continue on its current path. But its slower development can never be a right to exclude Penang or any other states in Malaysia from taking advantage of higher economic growth rate oppotunities.

  6. Frank

    I see that you are from somewhere much busier in Penang. Obviously, you also drive a car [maybe an expensive car].

    My advice for your next visit to Penang.

    Relax, and drive slowly. There will be less surprises. Better still take a trishaw to see the sights.

    Be more patient, and forget where you come from because you came to Penang for a holiday. So relax and forget about the busy streets you are so used to.

    You can also be more humble. One’s behavior towards others could have been coloured by the expectations on others because of the person’s own positioning.

  7. Yes, much like S’pore, Penang will get more Investments & SUPPORT from International Communities, especially from the West, and particularly from China., compared to marginal support for all of Malaysia : its a vision that WILL work.
    Yes, a vision truly inspirational and a very far sighted one, in the context of ” evolutionary ” pragmatism ! : the underlying tenor of LGE’s vision must surely take place in the evolutionary process, through ” natural selection ” of species !
    And what is that ? It is called Survival Of The Fittest. Those ” unfit ” willk schemed out by the process of natural selection. He claims he is from DAP and he has aligned well with S’pore & China. By his theory of evolution, we can’t help getting the grit of his vision, which is to eventually foresee from Penang, draw a straight line towards Perak, – Selangor is already in “Pakatan” – straight to NS & Malacca, one would get the picture complete. …
    Truly, theory of survival of the fittest througfh natural selection, must eventually work. ….
    My ” vision ” if you can call it one, is also to call upon all Malaysian to really work hard, so that you will not be left out in this Survival of the Fittest scheme by Natural Process
    Me an evolutionist ? No ! Survival of the fittest, resembles the parallel in the Animal Kingdom – bute strenght, and emotions like empathy, feeling compassion & care does not exist, but a law of the unavoidable ” Eat or be eaten….” – . disgusting is Evolution to some of us….

  8. I love Penang and have close relatives living there, as in Singapore. But the latter is much cleaner, conducive and efficacious, although the food is atrocious and people anally fixated. Penangnites are fortunate to have a responsible, functioning state government, led by a responsible, caring, erudite CM.

    I agree with Frank, Penang needs better infrastructure esp the roads, where 2 lanes actually ‘satu setengah’ and inexplicably end up passing cemeteries in the middle of no-where . Driving there is a nightmare, even at snail-pace – all the road signs lead to Komtar or Georgetown. Visitors often end up touring the whole Island before finally getting to their destination. Luckily, i always have a local showing me the way. Having said that, it remains a bright spark if no longer a lustrous pearl. The community there is no longer as stingy as they used to be as they hope for much better things. Excellent place for R&R, even if there are persistent rumors of old newspapers, being passed off as ‘fish’ in the asam laksa.

    The Feds are promoting the decaying Malacca to no avail. All there is there, are warrens of rodent like dependents, debilitated Peranakan houses that charge exorbitant entries and ruins of a bygone era. Industry and re-invention are limited like the now famously defunct ‘Eye in the Sky’ Ferris Wheel. If only Malacca could transform into a garden city.

  9. I think LGE’s speech should have suggested on how Penang’s advantages can be exploited further.

    I am certain Singaporeans are already familiar with Penang’s position. It would be better to tell them how to use these advantages that can blend into Singaporeans’ expectation of a future world.

    He should have shown some recent examples.

  10. “Investments.. especially from the West, and particularly from China.,” Abnizar.

    To be honest buddy, Penang’s technological and industrial prowess far exceeds that of China’s. Some Penangnites having served the E&E MNCs are second to none in terms of technical ability and innovation. Their Chemical, Printing and Machining industries are the most advanced in the whole country. Some of them have difficulty in getting Fed funded SME seed-loans and other developmental grants, which are most often doled out to BN cronies, who set up dismally low tech ‘halal’ processing plants.

    So i think LGE & Geng is more focused on bringing in very high tech, high value, R&D and low-labor industries into Penang Island proper, while leaving Seberang to the lower scale of capital intensive investments. PRC companies are self limiting and go for strategic investments, not mass-productive ones which can be done cheaper over there.

  11. CLF, “…..BN’s dismal cronies…..with no skill….no nothing…” get the contracts….”

    That was the reason why I said if Malaysians do not work hard in modern-days technocratic culture….etc, they will be finished……they will be weeded out by natural selection process underlying that ” survival of the fittest ” doctrine of Nature !
    May be that we are often saying the same thing in different ways….

  12. Well luckily in this modern world we have get to read this speech, or else if we depend on the MSM we will not know. Penang and its uniqness, its only as impotant that other states and Malaysia in general to identify its very own uniqness.

  13. You can also be more humble. One’s behavior towards others could have been coloured by the expectations on others because of the person’s own positioning.-Tang Loon Kong

    I am the most humble person I can be. But when you have Penangites who drive as though the road is owned by their ancestors, you cannot be humble. If you talk to Penangites, they always precede their answers with ” I know lah”… they seem to know everything despite their ignorance.

    I guess you are a Penangite apologist for the everything that is bad about Penangites.

  14. Tang Loon Kong, for your information, I travel that road almost everyday. That is what irritates me. What gave you the idea I love visiting Penang?

  15. Civilised societies respect and recognise the right of way. Something Penangites when driving on the road never seem to learn at all. A community of road-idiots.

  16. Distraction….

    Latest news on Malaysian history:

    History Professor and Head of History Dept, PROF. DR. Zainal Kling, from Sultan Idris Teaching University (UPSI) said Malaysia had NEVER been colonised by the British. The kind-hearted Brits gave us THEIR “protection”.

    Malaya was NEVER a British colony according to our esteemed History Professor Dr Zainal Kling??????

    Where did he get his Ph.D. From University of Zimbabwe ??

    A classic example of a KANGKUNG PROFESSOR. No?

  17. Sadly this is the legacy left by Mahathir who took great relish at making statements similar to this i.e Malaya was never colonised by the British. It was in similar vein that he declared Malaysia was an Islamic state. But I would expect members of the academia to view such creative use of language as peculiar to politicians. Mahathir’s intention was to challenge conventional wisdom. But he is a politician.

  18. if only they (DAP-Pakatan) can clone the Penang-brewed ‘success’ to Selangor too…Yes, then have the contagion effect for a better Malaysia sans’ penang style of driving! ~

    p/s – yup, these bad penang drivers are found in KL/PJ too…and are most dangerous after 10pm!

  19. For someone like you who prostitutes values to the pariah UMNO Malays cannot talk about values in others . You are no better than the female dog in my neighbourhood, which I was told is not a pariah female dog, which is more discrete in sharing its values to those it interacts. Those who prostitutes her values have the habit of pontificating about people’s values. Does not that sound familiar.

  20. Ellese, Better than to have no values than for someone behaving like a female dog bitching in other people’s blogs without facts.

  21. Ellese, Despite the bad drivers, Penang has less female dogs like you bitching about values in others.

    You have the arrogance of telling the bloghost that it is fine with you with the bloghost’s posting of an article. Even the pariah UMNO Malays do not have that degree of arrogance coming from someone who spends time bitching in other people’s blog.

  22. By the way, the current alter ego of the female dog in my neighbourhood reminds me of another commenter in the distant past called “Sayang Bangsa”.

  23. Sorrconcerning the for the interjection,
    i think we should not get personal, and resort to name-calling & nasty language, but my only concern is that we may not realise that we are abusing the ” privilege” extended by our blogghost. He has given plenty of latitude & we should keep on to decorum which he has insisted in his Welcome address.
    We should feel duty-bound to our discourse concerning the subject-matterto elicit information from the various articles.
    Gratefull for our indulgence.

  24. I was invited for the talk on history and Bukit Kepong by the four UMNO stooges led by the UPSI Kangkong Professor in Ipoh on Friday, September 9. I turned it down knowing what rubbish the idiots gonna spew. The Kling fella said we were not colonised and this was confirmed by Khoo. I nearly feel from my chair when told.

    When monkeys go on a road show you’ll know what they gonna do and say. It’s beyond my dignity to listen to the four clowns.
    Good decision on your part, Tok Cik. You know where these Goons are coming from…bodek UMNO 150%.–Din Merican

  25. Tok Cik,
    To be fair to them. Theoretically, yes, some malaya were not the direct britian colonies. But then again, according to their logic, Korea has never been colonised by Japan. Not even Manchuko. Tell that to the koreans & some part of china folks especially in the north east. Guarantee that you are given a tightslapped

  26. looes74

    If Malaya is not colonised, why did we go to London to ask for Independence in 1956-1957?

    I remember having to listen to God Save the Queen in my primary school prior to 1957 at the same time we have a Sultan.

    To say Malaya was not colonised because some states were not directly under the armpit of the Brits is splitting hairs. This is the kind of thinking which would be espoused by the altar-ego of the female dog from my neighbourhood, which I have just nicknamed “Ellese”

  27. I would say that the road conditions in Penang when I was there during the school holiday in May 11, was not that bad or jammed. I drove from KL through the Penang Bridge to Air Hitam , Balik Pulau and also to the Komtar area and all was smooth as silk except for a few occasional stops at the traffic lights. Driving to Macalister Rd., for lunch , buying biscuits at Him Heang and Ghee Hiang was not a problem. It was during a working day and the whole day was a breeze as far as I was concerned and right up to around the evening when I took the ferry at the jetty to get back to good old Alor Setar ( my hometown ).
    Anyway with the implementation of the free bus ride from the mainland to the Free Trade Zone , well , hope that would alleviate the heavy traffic around that area for a start.
    One thing I do agree though is that Penangites ( kiasu ) do not give ways like what we KLites are so generous about.

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