GEORGE TOWN: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak says he came to celebrate Chinese New Year with Penangites this year as he wanted to listen to their woes and needs.
"I am listening to the people of Penang, who want more affordable housing. I want to commit that we will deliver 20,000 units of affordable houses in the next five years.
"I commit the Government to solving traffic woes here by implementing a monorail system.
"I also commit for us to build a road dispersal system in Penang as well as improve the public transportation system here," he said.
Najib stressed that the people could rely on the Barisan Nasional government because when it made promises, it delivered them.
He said Barisan wanted to give its best for Penang, adding that the best of Penang has yet to come.
"I want you to feel that we are here for you. We want to make Penang, the Pearl of the Orient, as one of the prides of all Malaysians," he said.
Najib was speaking at the Barisan Chinese New Year open house, held at the Han Chiang School field here Monday, where the thousands who turned up were treated to a high-energy performance by South Korean K-pop sensation Psy.
He thanked Penangites for the warm reception accorded to him, his wife and family.
Najib also said it was highly essential for Malaysians to understand each other's culture in greater depth.
"We have to respect the Chinese culture as much as we respect the Malay culture and other cultures. Malaysia is truly a great nation as it is at the forefront of many nations in the world in this aspect," he said.
Najib also wished for the Lunar new year to bring good tidings to Penang as well as all Malaysian Chinese.
He later joined Barisan leaders in tossing the yee sang for good luck and prosperity.
Also present were Tourism Minister-cum-Penang MCA chief Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop and his wife Puan Sri Fawziah Begum Abu Bakar, Penang Barisan Nasional chief Teng Chang Yeow, Penang Umno chief Datuk Zainal Abidin Osman, Gerakan president Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon and PPP president Datuk Seri M. Kayveas.
The event, which began at 9.30am, drew tens of thounsands of people from all over the country, and visitors from Singapore, Thailand and Indonesia.