In a report published in PEM, the Socio-Economic and Environmental Research Institute (SERI), now the Penang Institute, asked, “Why can’t Penang seize the opportunity to become a centre of maritime excellence?” (SERI 2007:1). This is, indeed, the crucial question which is not easily answered.
Connecting oceans Location at the entrance to the Straits of Malacca and its long coastline provide Penang with a substantial maritime advantage. But has Penang made use of this potential, in the same way Malacca did in its glorious past? Has Penang realised its maritime potential and is it moving ahead of its competitors, serving as a gateway to the Indian Ocean and the South China Sea?
Using data of the Centre for Policy Research and International Studies (CenPRIS) Ocean Index we have analysed the competitive position of Penang in relation to other Malaysian states, especially those along the Straits of Malacca, namely Johor, Malacca, Selangor, Negeri Sembilan, Perak, Kedah and Perlis.
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