Penang island mayor takes a bow

Yew (centre, holding bouquet) posing with MBPP councillors and staff after chairing his final council meeting. He will retire next month.

MAKING things “smarter” was the driving force for outgoing Penang Island mayor Datuk Yew Tung Seang.

In his speech after chairing his final Penang Island City Council (MBPP) meeting, Yew said he had stayed true to his overriding mission.

“I recalled saying that I would strengthen the council’s Smart City Blueprint under my leadership,” said Yew as reported by Buletin Mutiara.“My speech, which was delivered on Jan 22, 2018, during the swearing-in ceremony as mayor, stressed that the council would focus on five domains – smart egovernance, smart mobility, smart environment, smart economy and smart social.

“The five domains continue to guide the council’s planning.”

Yew will be retiring next month and will hand over his responsibilities to the current MBPP secretary Datuk A. Rajendran.

Rajendran’s appointment as the new mayor, which is effective May 5, was announced by state local government committee chairman Jagdeep Singh Deo earlier this month.

Yew added that MBPP and the state government aimed to turn Penang island into a city of excellence through MBPP’s “Intelligent, Livable and Happy City” model and the Penang2030 vision.

He highlighted several key projects under his leadership.

They included the transformation of back and side lanes, construction of over 200km of bicycle lanes, the unique Harapan Bridge near Queensbay Mall that is equipped with solar panels, Business Improvement District Scheme and MakerSpace@MBPP project.

Yew, who is also the Malaysian Association of Local Authorities (Mala) president, said, “It is my fervent hope that Rajendran will continue to lead local governments. The Mala annual general meeting will be held in June this year.

“Since the association was established in 2000, the Mala president post has always been held by the president or mayor from Penang.

“Former Penang state secretary Datuk Seri Farizan Darus once expressed his pride on this matter. I hope that this tradition will go on.”

Yew also submitted a wishlist to Local Government Development Minister Nga Kor Ming in February this year.

“The minister had requested me, as MBPP mayor and Mala president, to send him a wishlist,” he said.“In my wishlist, I focused on low-carbon city projects and initiatives which can combat climate crises.”

Yew said the proposals included nature-based climate adaptation solutions, flood mitigation and monitoring projects, use of renewable energy, smart city initiatives, solid waste management projects, first- and last-mile green mobility projects, water taxi and city shuttle project, an ageing society policy, traffic management solutions and Electric Vehicle Ready City roadmap.

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