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The Opening Ceremony of Penang International Master Table Tennis Championship 2017

Speech by Chief Minister of Penang
At The Opening Ceremony of Penang International Master Table Tennis Championship 2017

29 April 2017 (10 am)
MSN/PTTA Table Tennis Training Centre

Yang Berbahagia Dato' Michael Tiah Thee Seng
President, Penang Table Tennis Association

Yang Berhormat Lau Keng Ee
State Assemblyman for Pengkalan Kota

Yang Berbahagia Dato' Khor Siang Gin
CEO, Hunza Group of Companies

Yang Berbahagia Dato' Ir. Ang Aing Thye
Vice President, Penang Table Tennis Association

Members of Media

Ladies and Gentlemen

Good Morning and Salam Sejahtera.

First and foremost, I would like to congratulate Yang Berbahagia Dato' Michael Tiah, President of Penang Table Tennis Association (PTTA) and his organising Committee for successfully organising the Inaugural Penang International Masters Table Tennis Championship 2017, an event endorsed by The Penang State Government. My sincere thanks also to Yang Berbahagia Dato' Khor Siang Gin, CEO of Hunza Group of Companies for sponsoring this tournament.

I was informed that this 3 days event is attended by 150 participants from various countries, i.e, China (with players from Shanghai, Hainan, Nanning, Guangzhou, Hong Kong), Denmark, Taiwan, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Singapore and our very own local teams. On behalf of The Penang State Government, I would like to extend our warmest welcome and 'Selamat Datang' to all of you.

Table Tennis is a Popular Sport in Malaysia. This sport promotes positive values such as teamwork, sportsmanship and friendship. The famous 'Ping Pong Diplomacy’ initiated by China in the early 1970s incorporating a famous slogan “Friendship First, Competition Second” (友谊第一, 比赛第二). I believe the assembly of participants from various countries this morning is a symbol of friendship from people of all background for a common goal to participate in this sport event for the love of Table Tennis. Let the spirit of “Friendship First, Competition Second” flourish throughout this tournament.

Ladies and gentlemen, Penang State is a 'breeding ground' for World Champions. We have produced Dato' Lee Chong Wei, the World No. 1 in Badminton and Dato' Nicol David, our World Woman Squash Champion. We hope that through the untiring effort of Penang Table Tennis Association, one day, Penang State will produce a World ranking player in Table Tennis.

Ladies and gentlemen,

George Town, Penang was inscribed a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2008, a global recognition of Penang's unique architectural and cultural townscape. Since then, Penang has won many prestigious international accolades which include:

1. ECA International nominated George Town as 8 most liveable city in Asia in 2012.
2. Yahoo@Travel listed Penang as one of the Top 8 Island in the World “You must see before you die” in 2011.
3. Voted Top 10 Street Food Cities in 2012 by VirtualTourist.com.
4. Penang Assam Laksa was voted as World's No. 7 Most Delicious Food by CNN Travel, 2011.
5. CNN Travel ranked Penang second in the “Best Place to Visit in 2017”.

Do take the opportunity to visit our UNESCO Heritage Site and you will be amazed at how much this cultural rich state, its beautiful heritage buildings, delicious local food and friendly people would make you want to come back to Penang for more.

Penang will be hosting the Inaugural Asia Pacific Masters Games (APMG) in September 2018. Table Tennis is one of the 21 sports to be featured in this game. As such, I sincerely hope that most of you will return to Penang to participate in Asia Pacific Master Games in 2018.

Lastly, I wish all participants best of luck and hope that your stay in this beautiful island of Penang would be a pleasant and a memorable one.

With this, I hereby declare the Penang International Master Table Tennis Championship 2017 open.

Thank you.

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