GEORGE TOWN: Penang has now emerged as the top contributor to the country’s GDP - leapfrogging past Selangor, according to Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali.
This means that Penang’s contributions to the national economy particularly in the manufacturing sector cannot be overlooked, said Azmin. He added that Penang’s relationship to the federal government has to be seen in a strategic context due to its importance.
He said this after attending a closed door briefing with Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow on the proposed 12th Malaysia Plan.
Azmin said that his ministry has learnt from the mistakes of the previous administration, who drew plans up by only consulting with the federal ministries.
“We will ensure that the 12th Plan is effective by consulting with every state government on the premises of it. So when we implement it, the state will back us up throughout the process.”
He said that the underlying theme of the plan was shared prosperity so every programme drawn up is designed to involve all Malaysians.
“We do not want to see any individual or race been left behind.”
Azmin also offered support to the proposed light rail transit (LRT) system which will come under the envisioned RM46 billion Penang Transport Master Plan.
“It is the federal policy to encourage our citizenry to opt for more public transportation rather than relying on private vehicles.”
Azmin said that the LRT project will need to be discussed with the other ministries on its funding mode and how it would be executed.
Azmin also revealed that Penang has proposed for all public hospitals in the state to be upgraded under the 12th Plan.
“I will need to refer to the Health Ministry on this.”
Earlier, Chow said that Penang will realign its development plans to meet the national aspirations under the 12th Plan, including with the Penang Vision 2030 development.