Worthy and lasting change has to come in a holistic manner. And so, broad participation is required. Turning Penang’s fortunes around cannot happen without the support of the state’s and the region’s thinkers and doers. Stating a vision is easy; we can say that we want Penang to be an “International City”. But to realise it, as many as possible must take part.
Once upon a time, and not long ago at that, Penang was a brand name instantly recognisable globally. In those days, Penang’s progress signalled the imminent progress of Malaysia. It was ahead of others, and was the state that defined the country’s economic future.
Sad to say, all that seems a long time ago now. To take one sad example, over the last 10 years, Penang household income actually increased the least among all the states, including Sabah and Sarawak. Between 1999 and 2004, this figure grew by 2.5 per cent annually, while the average for the whole country was 6.6 per cent!
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