GEORGE TOWN, January 21 – The long awaited moment has finally arrived. In fact, this day also brings significant meaning to the Chinese community around the world where relatives will return to their respective hometowns to be with their beloved family to celebrate the tradition of ‘makan besar’ or ‘reunion dinner’ before the start of the new year on the next day. Personally, the opportunity to gather with family from far and near while enjoying a traditional meal passed down through generations is very special.

We observe the year of the Tiger that has passed and look forward to the new year that is about to arrive. In 2023, we welcome the arrival of the Year of the Rabbit or ‘Water Rabbit’ in the Chinese zodiac cycle. The wisdom, dexterity, agility and speed that are the natural characteristics of rabbits are expected to be the impetus for all the people of Penang to move forward in any field to create and plan a brighter future towards the realization of the Penang2030 Vision which is towards a Smart and Green State Based on the National Inspiration Family.

Undoubtedly, the year of the Tiger is a very good teacher for us that with passion, courage and strength as a team, we are able to overcome the tremors of the pandemic, the challenge of global economic uncertainty which also affects the proliferation of local entrepreneurship, health disorders, learning and career opportunities and others- other related to success. Now, in line with efforts to restore the country’s economy and political stability, 2023 will be an interesting year not only for the country’s tourism industry.

But also for the investment sector; human capital development especially in the field of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM); the implementation of mega projects that were previously delayed; housing; community relations; education; gender equality; environment; agrotechnology and food chain assurance; entrepreneurship; sports excellence and also focusing on the youth for the future of this state. In general, in Penang, we still maintain the harmony and democratic principles that give freedom and become the core of the peace of this state.

The leadership of the State Government will continue to strive to ensure that the peace and order that has been experienced so far continues to be maintained. This is the main essence in shaping Penang which is always stable, excellent and feared in the eyes of the world. Therefore, taking this opportunity, I would like to wish a Happy Chinese New Year to all Chinese people throughout the country and Penang in particular. With the mandate given by the people of this state, I feel grateful to be with you to continue to lead the state of Penang to a more glorious future.

I will continue to steer this ship with full confidence, together we will remain and strengthen the already established unity and appreciate the value of harmony that we enjoy every day on this earth. May this Chinese New Year be celebrated with joy together with our family, relatives and friends regardless of background and religious beliefs. Have a safe arrival at your destination wherever you are. Continue to fuel the spirit of goodwill and celebrate this new year with blessings and well-being among us.

Happy Chinese New Year, Gong Xi Fa Cai!