27 May 2022
Penang should focus on positioning itself as a safe destination for tourists in keeping to its pledge of practising responsible tourism, governor Fuzi Abdul Razak said today.
He said ensuring a safe environment would boost its stand as the country’s tourism capital and, at the same time, drive the state out of the economic crisis as a result of the pandemic.
“Tourists’ confidence in Penang is dependent on safe environments. Therefore, I believe the tourism recovery action plan to position the state as a safe destination can reduce the impact of the pandemic on the sector,” he said when opening the new state assembly session today.
Fuzi also highlighted two significant events in Penang which will see several tourists from multiple countries attending – the World Congress on Information Technology (WCIT) to be held in September, and next month’s annual Semicon Southeast Asia, an international semiconductor exhibition.
WCIT is set to see over 4,000 delegates from 80 countries attending.
In an effort to establish better ties between the federal and state government, Fuzi urged Putrajaya to increase its allocations to Penang, as only 1.3% of the country’s development funds or RM997 million was allocated to the state this year.
He said taking into account Penang’s immense contribution to the country’s GDP as a leader in electronics manufacturing, it was only fair for the federal government to channel more resources here.
He said food security concerns should also be made a priority by the state, given the recent 3.5% increase in food prices in March, based on data from the statistics department.
Fuzi also said Penang should capitalise on its ability to produce a high yield in agriculture, citing the example of the state having the highest output of padi in the country two years ago.
“Penang is also the highest farmed-fish producer in the country for the past three years with over 12,000 tonnes of produce worth RM260.8 million from 226 farmers last year.
“Hence, the state government should pay more attention to food security programmes for Penang and its people to weather inflationary challenges grappling the country and the world at large,” he said.
He praised the government for being able to give at least RM944 per household to the hardcore poor, as well as cash aid to senior citizens, single mothers, and children from underprivileged families.
The speaker’s office said 665 written questions and 71 oral questions are expected to be answered during the five-day meeting starting on Monday.
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