Driving Penang’s 5-year economic roadmap

THE conclusion of the Penang elections marks a new phase for the state under Pakatan Harapan (PH).

Since the political tsunami of 2008, Penang has undergone two significant periods: the 2008-2018 reformist era and the 2018-2023 envisioning phase.

From 2008 to 2018, Penang was led by Lim Guan Eng, who implemented a series of reformist strategies. These successfully rejuvenated the state’s economy, particularly the aquaculture, tourism, and industrial sectors.

Following the 2018 general election, building upon the foundation of reform, the PH state government led by Chow Kon Yeow introduced Penang 2030 – a 12-year policy roadmap.

However, between the 2018 and 2022 general elections, Penang’s economy was disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic and was affected by federal political instability. The state PH leadership under Chow demonstrated its ability to restore confidence among businesses and investors. This effort resulted in the country’s highest GDP growth in 2021 and 2022.

With the state elections granting a fresh mandate, Penang embarks on a new chapter in its economic journey. The present political stability and alignment between the state and federal governments will facilitate sustained growth.

The initiatives outlined in the Penang Unity Manifesto 2023, including Meditech City, GBS by the Sea, Silicon Island, Penang LRT, Penang Hill Cable Car, flood mitigation projects, and water supply infrastructure, will serve as catalysts for Penang’s growth over the next five years and beyond.

These projects fall into three growth clusters: an industry-oriented ecosystem (Meditech City, GBS by the Sea, and Silicon Island), connectivity infrastructure (LRT and Penang Hill Cable Car), and liveability facilities (flood mitigation and utilities).

These endeavours were designed to propel Penang’s development trajectory, positioning it as a leading exporting state, innovation hub, tourist destination, and appealing hub for talent, businesses and investors over five years and beyond. In unison, they will transform Penang into a more favourable place for commerce and residence. – August 19, 2023.

* Joshua Woo Sze Zeng is Pulau Tikus assemblyman.

* This is the opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of The Malaysian Insight. Article may be edited for brevity and clarity.

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