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Strike a balance and live with inclusiveness, Penangites told

AFTER helming Penang for over a year, Yang di-Pertua Negri Tun Ahmad Fuzi Abdul Razak hopes that the state can achieve its target to become a smart state by 2030.

He said he wholeheartedly agreed with the state’s well-thought-out plan as stated in the Penang2030 tagline of becoming a smart, family-focused green state, and supported the efforts within his capacity where possible.

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“We must remember that a strong, stable family can reduce social ills.

“We must also continue to instil good values among our family members, with empathy and care for one another, while fostering the understanding of one’s religion,” he told The Star.

The 73-year-old former High School Bukit Mertajam student was sworn in as the state’s eighth governor before Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah at Istana Negara on April 30 last year.

He said a smart state would be one that adopted cutting-edge technology as the people could clearly see today that many large developing companies didn’t exist 10 years ago.

“Those nations which champion digital evolution will be in the leading economies of tomorrow and Penang must not lose out in this space for it will also be a great generator of employment and entrepreneurship and lead to enhance the people’s livelihood.”

He said adopting a ‘green’ attitude within the surroundings helped people to cohabit and coexist with nature.

“A healthy diet and lifestyle, ensuring clean air and water is readily available and also maintaining our food source are all equally important measures to be undertaken as it is becoming rapidly scarce globally.

“It is my wish that all Penangites do what they can within their means to achieve a balance and live with inclusiveness in these areas,” he said.

On the post-pandemic situation and with uncertainty of the economy, Ahmad Fuzi said the people should realise that they were the only ones who could help themselves to regain what was lost and rebuild as nations emerged from the shackles of Covid-19 restrictions.

He said the people were free to move and revert to their usual comforts and work to surpass their past achievements.

“While there may be talk of more disease and restrictions, there is an opportunity, irrespective how dark the clouds are, and we must be ready to identify and embrace it.

“Generations before us did not give up in the face of adversity and we must continue forward with bold steps,” he said.

He said with multicultural ethnicity, interdependence and resilience, there was much that Malaysians could learn from one another and grow faster than other nations that did not share this advantage.

He stressed that unity was the key to unlocking the people’s collective potential.

“That being said, we should always maintain healthy hygiene practices and go about doing what we need to do for a brighter future,” he said.

On his appointment as Penang Governor, Ahmad Fuzi said he still vividly remembered the day of his inauguration by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.

He said he was humbled with the appointment and at the same time felt a great sense of responsibility when carrying out the duties that came with the position.

He noted that his appointment came during one of the toughest times in history – the Covid-19 pandemic – but stressed that he always looked at the silver lining and planned for a more positive and constructive future.

“The journey has been an interesting one. I have met people from all walks of life and segments in Penang and was able to get to know them all better, by understanding their challenges and aspirations, besides learning how I could serve them better.

“In short, my one year in service has been an eventful one, full of flavour, but I still have much more to look forward to,” he said.