PENANG: Penangites must discard their “dirty habits” to keep the state beautiful and clean, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said.
He said Penang was endowed with natural assets such as beaches and rivers but the beauty of some of the destinations was marred by rubbish while pollution had taken a toll on the rivers.
“Penang had good waterfalls when I was young but now the waterfalls have disappeared,” he said at the Penang Chinese Town Hall's Chinese New Year open house yesterday.
Abdullah said the people should not blame the Government for the island losing its lustre.
“Places are dirty because of dirty habits and that is not good for development,” he said, adding that the people must “develop” along with the nation.
Acknowledging Penang as a food heaven, Abdullah said congested hawker sites and dirty eateries would ruin the state’s attractiveness.
However, he said that Penang was on the right track towards achieving developed state status.
“We are proud of Penang’s success in the electronics industry. But the people must also change their habits.”
Abdullah said he hoped the Year of the Rooster would provide the country with better prospects.
“Our economic growth is good, our reserves have gone up, our trade has increased and we have economic stability,” he said.
But the construction industry was in a sorry state due to property overhang, he said.
He added that he was confident it would improve with RM28bil allocated for the sector.
Abdullah ended his speech with a poem – “Buah sukun buah nona, buah pinang dan buah anggur, Dr Koh Tsu Koon pemimpin bijaksana, Penang maju jadi makmur.''
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