You can imagine my joy at seeing this news item in The Malaysian Insider this morning. The best news of the "bestest" news I've read today. The state government intends to revive the city status of George Town. For the uninitiated, George Town was declared a city by Queen Elizabeth II on 1 Jan 1957. And I've always had the suspicion that the status was taken away by those sneaky Federal government fellas in the 1970s because they wanted to ensure that when Kuala Lumpur was made a city, it would be the first in Malaysia. Tough titties to them!
The Malaysian Insider story went on to quote Dr Goh Ban Lee, a former Penang municipal councillor and now a consultant with SERI, the Socio-Economic Research institute, in Penang as saying:
"Lim is on the right track. Governments in developed countries use cities as branding tools to further drive their economies forward. Many people choose to live and work in cities because they believe they gain a better quality of life there. Cities are the new engines of growth. We have a city called George Town which nobody uses. Penang is not a city; it is a state.”Goh believes that George Town has many attractive features to draw in investment from outside Malaysia as well as from within. He points out its fair weather all year round and its nearness to the beaches, the sea and the hills. It is about time the state realises George Town’s economic potential, says Goh.