INNOVATION plays a pivotal role in achieving sustainable development and enhancing the living standards of the people, says Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow.
He commended the collaborative efforts of the state government and civil servants for fostering an environment conducive to innovation.
While officiating the state-level Innovation Day 2023 celebration at Komtar today, Chow stressed that the theme of ‘Innovation Driving a Sustainable Future,’ needs to be embraced by all as agents of change to empower the state and the country.
“The state government consistently promotes creative thinking among the youth and provides support to entrepreneurs and researchers to develop high-quality products and services.
“Collaboration with the private sector and civil society is essential to create products with a profound impact on all levels of society.
“Innovation will not succeed if it only stops at the concept or idea level. There must be a continuous effort to bring positive change from time to time.
“With an innovative spirit, the state can evolve into a smart state while generating various new job opportunities for the people of this state in particular as well as Malaysians in general,” Chow said in his speech.
He expressed hope that ongoing innovation initiatives will synergise and contribute to realising the Penang2030 vision of a Family-Focused Green and Smart State that Inspires the Nation.
Highlighting a successful example, he said the ‘Penang Smart Parking’ project, which won the Penang Government Innovation Award in 2020, has been shortlisted at the national level for the Public Sector Premier Innovation Award (AIPSA), organised by MAMPU offering a grand prize of RM1 million.
He extended his congratulations to the ‘Penang Smart Parking’ project group, led by the Local Government Division, Penang SUK Office together with the two local authorities, namely the Penang Island City Council (MBPP) and the Seberang Perai City Council (MBSP).
Chow acknowledged the unprecedented challenges faced by society during the pandemic, and how innovation has played a pivotal role in advancing digitalisation and the service delivery.
Chow noted that more and more innovation projects produced by government departments and agencies have been presented at the national and international levels, creating a high impact on society.
This year, the organisers received 24 entries for the Penang state-level Innovative and Creative Group Competition (KIK), 10 entries for the Penang State Government Innovation Award project (AIKNPP), and 16 entries for the Innovation Blast competitions.
The grand prize for the Penang Chief Minister Innovation Award, which carries a prize money of RM10,000, went to the Penang Island City Council (MBPP) ULesen.
Earlier this morning, 19 contestants from various government departments and agencies took part in the Spelling Bee Competition 2023 at the Komtar Concourse.
The competition was among the programmes of the Penang Innovation Day 2023.
Of the 19 contestants, 13 went through to the second round, followed by six in the third round.
State assistant administrative officer Juhana Johan from the Penang Land and Mines Office emerged as champion, ahead of Penang assistant veterinary officer Ross Nursyazana Rossley from the Penang Island City Council (MBPP), and medical officer Dr Chin Wee Loon from the Penang Island City Council (MBPP).
All the top three winners received their awards, including prize monies of RM500, RM300 and RM200 respectively, from Chow.
“I am extremely happy. I was quite nervous as the competition was quite tough. I read through some random words last night to prepare myself for the competition,” said Juhana, third-time lucky after having finished second and third in the 2018 and 2019 competitions.
Retired Corporate Communication & Innovation Unit of the Penang State Secretariat and its corporate trainer Yeap Meng Chee, who has been holding the competition in the past, said overall, the contestants did well and tried their best to spell the words given.
“It comes down to how exposed the participants are, their reading habits, and other factors that can influence their command of English. We have contestants who can spell difficult words and those who cannot spell simple words.
“The words may seem easy to this contestant but hard for the others,” she said.
Among those present at the celebration were State Secretary Datuk Rosli Isa, Deputy Secretary Datuk Mohd Zakuan Zakaria (development), Deputy Secretary Datuk Ahmad Rizal Mohd Hanapiah, MBPP mayor Datuk A. Rajendran, MBSP mayor Datuk Azahar Arshad, head of Corporate Communications and Innovation Saiful Syarizal, and heads of federal departments and agencies.
Story by Christopher Tan and K.H. Ong
Pix by Law Suun Ting
Video by Darwina Mohd Daud