The ramping up of vaccination centres and accelerated inoculation rate has made Penang’s percentage of cumulative vaccine doses administered (based on adult population) very near the national average. The average doses administered in Penang for the past one month is about 400,000 doses and the State is confident of achieving 100% of adult population to receive the first dose by early September, as mentioned by the Rt. Hon. Mr. Chow Kon Yeow in 𝐌𝐈𝐂𝐂𝐈 𝐍𝐨𝐫𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐫𝐧’𝐬 𝐀𝐧𝐧𝐮𝐚𝐥 𝐃𝐢𝐚𝐥𝐨𝐠𝐮𝐞 𝐰𝐢𝐭𝐡 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐑𝐢𝐠𝐡𝐭 𝐇𝐨𝐧𝐨𝐮𝐫𝐚𝐛𝐥𝐞 𝐂𝐡𝐢𝐞𝐟 𝐌𝐢𝐧𝐢𝐬𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝐨𝐟 𝐏𝐞𝐧𝐚𝐧𝐠 held on 17 Aug 2021.
Malaysian International Chamber of Commerce & Industry (MICCI) organized an annual dialogue session with the Chief Minister of Penang, Rt. Hon. Mr. Chow Kon Yeow and have invited representatives from the industry, namely: Jayce Loh (Regional Director of Affin Hwang Asset Management), J Philip Vincent (Business Development Director of GSH Precision Technology Sdn Bhd), Matin Ng (Deputy CEO of UWC Berhad) and Christoph Mueller (Senior Vice President of Operations, Finance, Controlling & Information Technology at B. Braun APAC) to explore their respective views on how to navigate this pandemic and remain sustainable. InvestPenang’s CEO, Dato’ Loo Lee Lian was invited as the moderator for the panelist discussion.
Each speaker presented the best practices in their respective organizations during the pandemic, and their proactive approaches to ensure safe at work were well recognized by Rt. Hon. Mr. Chow. In the panelist discussion, Matin is of the view that automation can enhance companies’ competitive advantage and agreed with Dato’ Loo that to better plan for long term post pandemic, there is higher incentives for companies to automate and digitalize. When asked on the wish list from government in attracting sustainable investment, Christoph shared that stable environment, transparency in governance and talent availability as the utmost priorities. Jayce, representing the financial sector, commented on the work-from-home model that provides flexibilities to women who juggle several roles and stressed the importance for companies to invest in technology and infrastructure to maintain employees’ performances. In regards to the sustainability of SOPs compliance, especially for SMEs, Vincent admitted that costs will be an issue for most local companies, although it may be challenging for some time, companies have to source for solutions to ensure both affordability and workplace safety are well taken care of.
During the session, the audience also raised concern on the industrial land availability in meeting the companies’ demand. Rt. Hon. Mr. Chow assured that Penang Development Corporation (PDC) is developing two new industry parks, namely Batu Kawan Industrial Park 2 and East Batu Kawan. These 2 industrial parks will bring a combined 1,500 acres of industrial lands to Penang, bigger than the size of the existing Batu Kawan Industrial Park. The 2 industrial parks are developed in stages and will come on stream from 2023 onwards, serving Penang’s promoted sectors and preparing for a new wave of strategic investments into the State. Promotion of new industrial park is expected to begin in September next year to cater new wave of strategic investments into the State. The State government place great emphasis in developing Penang’s infrastructure to meet investors’ demands & requirements.