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The Official Opening of Straits Quay

SPEECH FOR THE CHIEF MINISTER OF PENANG, TUAN LIM GUAN ENG

AT THE OFFICIAL OPENING OF STRAITS QUAY

5:00PM, SATURDAY 10 DEC 2011

Dato Terry Tham, Group Managing Director, The E&O Group

Datuk Mohd Bakke Salleh, President & Group Chief Executive, Sime Darby Berhad

Michael Saxon, Group Hospitality & Lifestyle, The E&O Group

Ladies & gentlemen,

I wish to thank the management of E&O for inviting me officiate thisbeautiful Straits Quay. From our history books we know that Penang has enjoyed an enduring love for the sea and trading and prosperity through our free port status. It is heartening to see a resurgence of seafront activity taking place here at Straits Quay similar to the waterfront near Weld Quay and Swettenham Pier.

Penang’s vision of becoming an international and intelligent city has again taken another step forward today. A few days ago, the South Australia Minister led a delegation to visit this place. They requested from the state to specifically visit Straits Quay and they had the opportunity to tour the marina and they were very excited to see some Australian registered yachts moor at the beautiful marina.

With the recently launched Performing Arts Centre of Penang, we find in Straits Quay a unique destination to not only attract tourists, but one that widens and enlarges options for the diverse lifestyle offerings for the community at large.

Since March 2008, the Penang State Government has worked very hard to develop Penang into the prime location it is today for leisure, tourism as well as business. A livable city with international benchmarks is critical attract investments.

In 2010, Penang recorded the highest investment in Malaysia for the first time in history raking in RM12.2 billion of investments. More impressively, of this amount RM10.5 billion is from Foreign Direct Investment or FDI contributing towards 36% of Malaysia’s total FDI despite having only 6% of the country’s population.

We are on track to achieve a targeted RM6.1 billion in investments this year, with emphasis on higher-paying jobs. From January till October this year, Penang has attracted RM5.7 billion in investments. Penang is still the No.1 in attracting FDI this year with RM3.9 billion.

We have also recorded a budget surplus every year, for the 4 years that this Government has been in office. We have reduced our debt from RM630 million in March 2008 to RM30 million in September 2011. This debt reduction of 95% is the largest amongst all states in Malaysian history.

To compete for foreign investment and tourists, Penang has to overcome over the next few years is to develop a world-class city that is sustainable, environmentally friendly, has a vibrant cultural landscape, good international schools and hospitals. The opening of Straits Quay can certainly help not just in international benchmarking, but also in future through their association with their new owners Sime Darby, in providing good international schools, hospitals and culture. The contribution by E&O of the RM8.5 million Penang Performing Art Centre on par if not superior to the KL version I see the energy, expertise, entrepreneurship and innovation in the completion of Straits Quay. Hopefully this will provide opportunities for the people of Penang, to work hard enjoy the fruits of their labour.

In true E&O style, Straits Quay is the new landmark in Penang. True to the values that Dato Terry Tham has said earlier about E & O – expecting nothing ordinary, I am pleased that the management and team of E&O has left an impressive new landmark that all Penangites can be proud of.

Let me congratulate Dato’ Terry Tham and the E&O Group for building this beautiful structure for the public to enjoy, and to each and everyone of you who has a role to play in making Straits Quay the vibrant destination that it is – one that Penang can definitely be proud of.

It gives me great pleasure to declare Straits Quay officially open!


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