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July 30, 2008

Malaysia: Penang to emulate Singapore, Hong Kong and Dubai
The northern Penang state government will use the successes of Singapore, Hong Kong and Dubai as guides to restore the strength of the state's economy, reported Malaysia’s national news agency Bernama.

State Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs committee chairman Abdul Malik Abul Kassim said those economies were chosen based on common factors and background with Penang.

He said the successes of the three areas need to be taken as role models if the state wanted to continue competing with them.

During the winding-up debate on the motion of thanks for the Head of State, Abdul Rahman Abbas' speech, in the State Legislative Assembly, Abdul Malik said Penang had a similar historical past, culture and languages as Singapore; had a similar structure and hinterland as Hong Kong; and was also a popular tourist destination and trade centre like Dubai.

Abdul Malik also said Penang had the potential to be an international 'halal' hub with its manufacturing, packaging, marketing, research and development facilities and human resources.

He said Penang would cooperate with the Chulalongkorn University of Thailand on 'halal' certification given that institution's expertise and ability in the field.

This was however slammed by Dr Hilmi Yahaya who urged the state government to give priority to the expertise and facilities available in local universities like Universiti Sains Malaysia, a local university situated in Penang.

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