Penang mulls a happiness index to rate its performance

Opalyn Mok

Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow speaks during the Penang 2030 Vision event in George Town August 29, 2018. ― Picture by Sayuti Zainudin

GEORGE TOWN, Aug 29 — Penang could introduce a happiness index to measure residents’ reaction to the policies implemented by the state government, said Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow.

The Penang lawmaker said the state government could conduct regular surveys on the happiness level of the people through various means including social media.

“We can do this regularly so that all the arms of the government can have a better grasp of how people are reacting to the many policies we implement,” he said.

He said this is the way to gauge how people feel about the programmes and policies introduced by the state government.

Chow added that while they already received feedback via social media, the surveys would provide more detailed information about the level of satisfaction.

This morning, Chow unveiled “Penang 2030”, which is Penang state government’s vision for the state in the next 12 years, in a ceremony at the E&O Hotel.

The Penang 2030 is the state’s four-prong vision to increase liveability to enhance quality of life, upgrade the economy, empower the people to strengthen civic participation an invest in the built environment.

Chow said the state wants to involve as many stakeholders as possible for its planning and implementation of policies not only for infrastructure but also for cultural development.

He said the state will communicate positive changes and setbacks to the public at all times to remain transparent.

“We will strive to uphold good governance in implementing policies and projects in the state,” he said.

He said the state must nurture creative industries and niche businesses to spur the state’s economy apart from further improving its manufacturing industry, creating a variety of tourism products and modernising sustainable agriculture.

“We need a ‘Made in Penang’ brand to call our own. Penang is beyond just char koay teow and nasi kandar,” he said.

He also talked about closing the mainland-island “divide” in the state, and said more attention must be given to the development of Seberang Perai.

He said the future of Penang must include the entirety of Seberang Perai and the island.

“The Penang Channel should not continue to be something that separate the two parts of the state but the difference should be considered as potential for the state’s growth,” he said.

One way to connect both the mainland and island is to introduce water taxies that are both faster and more efficient than the ferry, he suggested.

He said Penang 2030 is an innovative vision as it involves all levels of stakeholders in pushing for economic, infrastructure and cultural development of the state as a while.

“Penang Institute has been tasked to help my administration coordinate, monitor and communicate matters related to Penang 2030,” he said.

The public can submit their feedback on Penang 2030 by sending an email to

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