24 Jun 2009, 11:00 AM
Posted in Commentary
First of all, please allow me to humbly remind you to read through this article from a neutral point on view. To be honest I am very sick of our state and national political scene. I am apolitical and this write up is not a case of a political party versus another political party, but a case of Penang versus the “rest of the world.”
As a Penangite, it dismayed me a lot when a certain mentor from another country commented that Penang is in need of improvements in terms of infrastructure. Unfortunately, it angered me even more when a state minister seemed to be playing to other people’s tune in disgracing my beloved Penang . From what I have read for the past week in various channels, Penangites were portrayed to others that socio-economically we are lagging behind others, at some point we were even compared to Ipoh and Seremban! If you do agree with what that state minister has told the whole world, I don’t mean to be rude, don’t call yourself a Penangite!
If you are still reading this, thank you, and please allow me to elaborate. I’m proud to say that Penang international airport is one of the only four international airports in Malaysia , it is also the 3rd busiest airport behind only to KLIA and KKIA. Penang Bridge is still the longest bridge in South East Asia connecting thousands of people across the straits of Malacca everyday. For a middle-income earner like me traveling frequently between the island and mainland, a lot of us do know how this bridge built in 1985 plays a major role in our lives. Most of you will be asking, what about buses and taxis? If you go to other parts of Malaysia , except KL, sorry to say they are just as bad.
Furthermore, Penang is one of the world’s largest Information Technology – Business Process Outsourcing (IT-BPO) locations. If you are working in FTZ you yourself should know. This credit should be given to the previous Penang government which focused strongly in the industry (yes I know I will be given stick for making this statement, but please read my first paragraph). To add on, Penang houses a big number of expatriates and is one of the popular destinations for retirees under the MM2H project.
Moreover, correct me if I’m wrong, we might not have great beaches or virgin rainforests, but it is a mistake to overlook Penang if you are holidaying in Malaysia . I’ve seen in many comments that Penang food is not as good as it was, but have the respective writers gone to places where Penangites eat? We are now proud to be a world heritage site. I’m sick of all the politicking, if you think carefully has the present government actually made an effort to capitalize on our listing by UNESCO? Still unknown to many, Penang in fact is thriving in Medical Tourism. I do not know if I’m correct, but it seems that we are doing better than KL.
I almost fall of my seat when I read in the newspapers that a certain high ranked minister in Penang told the whole world in Singapore that Penangites’ income has been behind the national standard. Dear minister, I understand your concern that Penangites earn only 68% of what our KL counterparts do, but do you know that the cost of living in Penang is also roughly 30% lower than in KL? Say what you like, but during these hard times, middle income earners like me still can work hard, and after paying my huge bill of loan payments, still can afford to save a tiny bit of earning to spend money for myself. Maybe you will not understand because as a minister you are earning a lot, a hundred ringgit which is precious to us might be nothing to you.
I can go on and on to defend my hometown. The bottom line is, if you are a Penangite, you should be as distress as me when someone talk bad about Penang, unless you aren’t born and bred in Penang . By the way, I forgot, my dear high ranked minister, you are not from Penang.
The views expressed in the article are those of the author alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of Gerakan4u.com and Penang Gerakan.