Penang govt unveils 12-year action plan through Penang 2030, mulls happiness index for residents

Audrey Dermawan

GEORGE TOWN: Penang today unveiled the Penang 2030 – an action plan which maps out the state’s development in the next 12 years. Themed “A Family-focused Green and Smart State to Inspire the Nation”, the policy package is the state’s four-prong vision to increase livability to enhance quality of life, upgrade the economy, empower the people to strengthen civic participation an invest in the built environment. The highlight includes a “Made in Penang” approach to boost a niche manufacturing sector, the adaptation of a “sponge city” in future town planning to mitigate flash floods, and reducing reliance on the federal government in terms of funding. Penang 2030 will ensure that all policymaking benefits both the island and Seberang Prai as the future of the state relies on the mainland’s potential for growth. Chief Minister Chow Kon Keow, who described the Penang 2030 as realistic and practical, said it was aimed at making Penang a model state for the country. He said each of the terms used to express the vision of the state government for the next decade had been chosen carefully. “Not only are we continuing what has been initiated and accomplished over the last 10 years, we are actually taking things to a new level. “Our priorities and the assets at our disposal are much clearer to us in the government now, as we move up one more gear in making Penang a model for the nation and the world,” he said in a special event held at the Eastern & Oriental Hotel. Present during the two-hour townhall session were members of Chow’s administration, members of parliament, state assemblymen, captains of industries, prominent leaders, representatives from the various non-governmental organisations and other stakeholders. Chow said the state government planned to involve as many stakeholders as possible for its planning and implementation of policies and would communicate the positive changes and setbacks to the public at all times to remain transparent. For this, he said, Penang was looking to introduce a happiness index to gauge the people’s reaction to the policies implemented by the state government. “We will carry out regular surveys on the happiness level of the people through various means, including social media, so that we can have a better grasp of how people are reacting to the many policies we implement,” he said. Penang Institute has been tasked to help the state government to coordinate, monitor and communicate matters related to Penang 2030.

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