PENANG — Penang Gerakan Youth criticized Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng and the state government for being slow and not far-sighted to realize the importance of the service industry besides relying on the manufacturing sector to help Penang gain high-income status.
Penang Gerakan Youth Chief Hng Chee Wey said in fact, the Penang Barisan Nasional had realized this new economic trend 2 years ago.
He said the Penang BN’s manifesto for the General Election in 2013 had incorporated the blueprint of reinstating the “free port” status for Penang in order to develop active service industry as one of the main sources of income for the people in Penang, besides relying on the manufacturing industry in line with the second economic transformation for Penang.
However, the Pakatan Harapan in their vicious publicity had at that point of time painted an adverse picture of this manifesto promoted by Penang BN, accusing us of giving up on manufacturing industry. Of course with their sweet talk, they managed to incite the people to vote against BN again.
“Now, eventually the Chief Minister has to admit that Penang needs to promote and develop the service industry as the second economic output, without which Penang may face a similar economic recession like in the 70’s when the manufacturing industry will come to a bottleneck given the uncertainty in the global economic situation.”
Hng, who is also Penang BN Youth Chief, said as Penang is slowly gearing towards the era of high income, the rising labor costs have added burden to the foreign invested factories. Coupled with the open market policy adopted by other South East Asia nations, the status of Penang as a prime manufacturing industry region is being threatened.
He said the blueprint for reinstatement of the free port status for Penang, which was incorporated in the BN election manifesto, was formulated by economists with the assistance of corporate personalities, and had taken into consideration the global economic trends as well as a simulated economic model.
Unfortunately, our well planned blueprint was rejected in the last election because of adverse propaganda by Pakatan Harapan (formerly Pakatan Rakyat). However, eventually the state government still has to face to the cruel fact that the service industry has to be reinstated back into the current economic transformation to ensure sustainable economic growth.
Hng said the Penang government can always refer to the text on the BN’s manifesto which has incorporated the blueprint and strategies on reinstatement of free port status for Penang. The state government can always refer to the essential factors stipulated in our blueprint to formulate their own service industry to stimulate the economic activities of Penang.
He said mere lip service from state leader alone is not enough to promote service industry effectively. To achieve high quality service industry of international standard, the state authority concerned needs to come out with well-planned blueprint and strategies in consultation with economists specializing in this particular field.
He said the scope of the service industry is very wide, ranging from the general commerce to tourism and the related sectors such as transportation, finance, beverages & restaurants, professional services and etc. Every sector will inevitably link without any break in the chain.
He urged Lim to take this industry seriously and endeavor to make it the second economic output for Penang. The Chief Minister must be seen to make conscientious efforts to promote with sustainable plan for this industry and stop politicizing any related issues just to satisfy his own ego.