Had a nice day volunteering for WorldAIDSDay at SgWangPlaza and some shopping in LowYat, got some updates on IT stuffs finally. Really felt like lost navigator returning to his home, so many things has changed, and i felt that SgWangPlaza area is truly the melting pot of Malaysia, you see Diversity there, not only different types of people across the world, but truly a scene where you notice the story of people.
And along the journey i was reading "Pilot Studies for New Penang". Beginning of reading it and i thought that it will be good to have a dedicated labeling to these series. I think i found my passion, i want to engage with the group of people to induce the Renaissance into Penang. It's happening soon, sadly i don't see many friends are ready. Yes this is Penang...
Taken in Chew Jetty, Penang has never failed to inspire me with her different melodies of diversity in culture, be it Architecture, Arts or People. I find it's the best "rojak" in the whole Malaysia, where the kuah of unity resembles the best in Georgetown. As i am flipping past the few front pages, i would want to share what our Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng has to say about the Blueprint for Sustainable Development in Penang Outlook Forum 2009. Now if you think i am gonna touch about politics or you are looking forward for words like BN or Gerakan then please look somewhere else. I respect everyone in the politics field who plays a fairgame and this guy has earned my respect. If you want to talk politics with me, better get your facts, not impressions and media influence.
Yes referring to SERI's Penang Studies Series, full credits to Ooi Kee Beng and Goh Ban Lee the editors. Certainly I will say Penang has been the most interesting state to display various ups and downs in Economy falls and certain periods, contradicting to the assumptions with other states are doing the other way around. Progress is collective undertaking, many things penangnites have been working hard for two centuries that push itself forward, and the Brand name penang has instantly recognizable abroad. But sadly that was long time ago..
Do we know that between 1999 and 2004, Penang family income grew by 2.5%, while the average for whole country was 6.6%! in 1999, Penang's income was 85% of what people in Selangor were making. Penang does not only lose in relative income, but also relatives and talents. You don't need to refer to statistics and will realize the average age of population in penang has increased, by sight. One significant factor is that MM2H Malaysia My 2nd Home program has significant bring in FDIs to increase westerners to buy landed properties in Penang, it's cheap bucks! but this unsustainable idea causes land property hiked up, too expensive for locals and also increasing the cost of living in Penang and hence more younger generation headed to Singapore or KL for better opportunities. Another factor is the lack of IT industry in Penang to spark the economy of other sectors, and IT industry widely depends on young people, the Silicon Valley of Penang needs these people to survive!
Truly enough from this point i could not see how NPP National Physical Plan could accomodate the different plans of different states, even though as much as NCER is being emphasized, i am sure states like Perlis would have wanted it's own Economic Center aren't they? The whole planning system in Malaysia is not according to Bottom Up approach, KL and Selangor did grow by folds last decade, very much, but i don't see which part of NPP really emphasize on East Malaysia States, Sabah and Sarawak particularly.
I believe Penangnites got to be glad to have a group of elite people in SERI and other NGOs to think about the future of Penang, making Penang a model for others to follow. Various examples are shown, such as the first state to really thrive for green state. Banning Plastic bag beginning next year. The whole idea of having better Penang is to attract new Talents. There must be good environment where people feel comfortable expressing themselves, artistically or otherwise. Nothing kick starts change faster than bringing in fresh new blood with new ideas and energy, and adding them to a growing talent pool. I could be one too =)
There are EIGHT key measures that we need to look into:
- Institution building as a source of Growth. There is a need to respect rule of law and good governance based on Competency, Accountability and Transparency. Sadly even most penangnites don't know that C.A.T as the principles of Institution in Penang.
- A sound education system that promotes a culture of excellence that is relevant to the demands of industry and economy. Penang has launched a new initiatives to be the first wifi state of Malaysia. Various education need to focus on IT as Silicon Valley's presence in Penang and able to cater the needs of growth in Penang, especially Tourism. A city has specific branding, Penang has identified and needs to work on it.
- A civil society encompassing the triple transformation of political transformation to achieve political equality, respect for human rights, supremacy of people's power and democracy. Needs to be emphasizing on Ethical transformation that establishes integrity in public life, checks corruption and pursues socioeconomic justice.
- Encouraging creativity, innovation research and development with new ways of thinking and new ways of doing things. A good example i believe is not about designing a program for workshops, but troubleshooting at its root is not being done and the best way is for the youth to help youths themselves by designing one because the generation gap does matter in terms of understanding and interpreting ideas.
- Establishing International benchmarks that make development sustainable - where resources we use today are ensured to cater the needs of future generations. Penang economy lies around service sector most of the time, not so much on materials. Penang was voted as the 10th most livable city amongst 254 cities throughout Asia.
- Trusting the ability of any state's greatest resource- our human resources by investing in restraining and human development. This is the most important when people has their mindset changed. Perhaps some people has branding upon Penang that the state is such with Hawker culture with dirty places, this has to be changed, KaohSiung, a city in Taiwan was once a dirty place but the government did SO MUCH that the people are happy to rebrand the city with their conversations.
- Moving towards a government that works better, Penang has increased public spending on the civil service without a corresponding rise in quality of service. No KPI was noted for such situation, perhaps its time for civil service to approach international benchmarks to be provided with international rated pay scales?
- Lastly, adopting public-private partnership model of a win win formula. Open tenders and capping the private sector profits at a reasonable rate of return will ensure the protection of public interest without sacrificing Efficiency and productivity.
If you are excited to see how much Penang is going to grow after knowing these 8 aspects are the fundamentals for the New Penang Blueprint, then comment on what do you think? where can you help with your current career/future ambition? Most of us is so well influence by the main stream of Media and can just go and multiply them for no reasons and doing no good towards the Country.
What is really our focus? when most of us in this country, especially younger generations whine so much about the bad things of nation, and even see positive movements of the Nation in a pessimist point of view, and just SIT there doing nothing. I don't use the word Loser, but i hope more younger generations really aware of what's happening. for real.
May Penang's Blueprint be a success. For i am supporting what is going to happen even though i am just a 2nd year Architecture student with limited knowledge on Penang's background, let's just hope this book could help us understand this state inside out better =)