THE mid-term review of Penang’s state exco portfolios presents minor changes and a slashing of redundant words.
All the state exco members largely retain their portfolios, but most of their portfolio titles will no longer be such mouthfuls as of next Tuesday.
For example, Chong Eng’s women and family development, gender inclusiveness and non-Islamic religious affairs committee will be condensed into social development and non-Islamic religious affairs.
Yeoh Soon Hin’s lengthy tourism development, arts, culture and heritage portfolio will become tourism and creative economy.
The repetition in Phee Boon Poh’s welfare, caring society and environment committee will be no more; he will be the welfare and environment committee chairman.
“One of the purposes of this exercise is to shorten the names of the portfolio so that they are not so long, ” said Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow (pic) in a press conference to announce the state exco’s mid-term review on Wednesday.
Of more significance is a change in Chow’s portfolio of land matters and land development, transport and communications.
It will now be land and economic development, and communications.
The transport portfolio will be handed over to Zairil Khir Johari, whose portfolio of works, utilities and flood mitigation will be amalgamated into the simple term, ‘infrastructure’.
“We are trying to make the portfolios lean and fit so that they can be handled in the most effective manner, ” said Chow.
On the rebranding of Yeoh’s arts, culture and heritage portfolio into creative economy, Chow said many countries have already redefined it what way.
To revive this sector, he said new blood, fresh ways of thinking and more optimism is needed, and renaming the sector is aimed at encouraging players to develop it as assets instead of relying heavily on tourism.
To a question on whether there may someday be a limit to how many terms Penang exco members would be allowed to hold their portfolios, similar to the two-term limit on the chief minister post, Chow good- humouredly brushed it aside.
“I can only see Phee, who is the oldest serving exco member, being the one holding the same portfolio for years and years.
“The current local government exco member Jagdeep Singh Deo is just holding the portfolio in his first term and you want him to be... cannot... just not too fair lah, ya?
“We take note of all these comments, but we hope to serve as a team.
“Ultimately, the exco, as a council, is responsible for all affairs in the state.
“The respective exco members give special attention to their portfolios and are personally accountable and answerable for all the matters that fall within their portfolios.
“We are all collectively responsible to the people of Penang, ” he said.
LIST OF PENANG EXCO MEMBERS’ NEW PORTFOLIO TITLES EFFECTIVE SEPT 15,2020
Chow Kon Yeow
• Land and Economic Development
Datuk Ahmad Zakiyuddin Abdul Rahman
• Islamic Affairs
• Community Empowerment
Dr P. Ramasamy
• Human Resources
• Science and Technology
• Social Development
• Non-Islamic Religious Affairs
Jagdeep Singh Deo
• Local Government
• Town and Country Planning
Phee Boon Poh
Zairil Khir Johari
Datuk Abdul Halim Hussain
• Trade and Industry
• Entrepreneurial Development
Yeoh Soon Hin
• Creative Economy
Soon Lip Chee
Dr Norlela Ariffin
• Agrotech and Food Security
• Rural Development
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