It would be Ma-rvellous!

Chen (left) presenting a souvenir to Chow at his office on level 28 in Komtar, Penang. — Photos: ZHAFARAN NASIB/The Star

THE Penang government hopes that Alibaba Group founder and executive chairman Jack Ma could visit the state and share his knowledge and experience with Penangites.

Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said the state has written officially to Ma’s office in Kuala Lumpur to invite him to visit Penang.

“We would like him to come and look at our ecosystem with regards to digital commerce because it is also an important agenda of the state government.

“We are working on digital transformation of the state and we can benefit from his experience and hopefully attract investments to Penang and Malaysia,” said Chow at a press conference after a courtesy call by Minister Counselor of the People’s Republic of China in Malaysia Chen Chen at his office in Komtar on Wednesday.

Chow said the letter was sent out after he signed it on Tuesday.

“Hopefully he will consider visiting Penang, and I hope His Excellency (Chen) can help us to encourage Ma to pay us a visit.

Chen (second left) checking out one of the teaching facilities during his visit to SMJK Heng Ee Bayan Baru in Sungai Tiram, Penang.
Chen (second left) checking out one of the teaching facilities during his visit to SMJK Heng Ee Bayan Baru in Sungai Tiram, Penang.

“We have given a proposal of the programme (to Ma) to speak to enterprises, businesses and industrial sectors, and to visit our @CAT Centre, which is a startup hub at Wisma Yeap Chor Ee.

“I’m sure Ma will be aninspiration to young entrepreneurs,” he said.

Chow also welcomed Chinese companies to bid for works on major transport and infrastructure projects.

“Chinese companies could share their expertise and experience, especially on their speedy completion of projects as Chinese companies are always able to deliver on time or ahead of time,” he said.

Chen, who started his tenure in Malaysia less than six months ago, said Penang was his first official visit outside Kuala Lumpur.

“I’m deeply impressed by the vigorous economic development and the sound city planning of Penang.

“To my knowledge, about 30 Chinese companies had invested in Penang, making their own contributions to Penang’s economic growth and the upgrading of industrial technology. China was the largest source of FDI to Penang in 2016, with the total amount of investment reaching RM700mil.

“The Chinese government will support more Chinese enterprises with full capability to invest here, encourage them to have more technology transfer, higher level of localisation and bigger social responsibility, with a goal to reach win-win results and deliver more benefits to the local people and make greater contribution to Penang,” he said.

He believed that there was still room for cooperation between China and Malaysia, and thebilateral relations between the two countries would be strengthened under the new government.

Chen also visited SMJK Heng Ee Bayan Baru branch and waswelcomed by Heng Ee board of directors chairman Tan Sri Alex Ooi and other board members.

Chen said the school is one of the most modern and beautiful Chinese schools in the country.

He also complimented Malaysian Chinese for their efforts in preserving Chineseeducation.

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