Penang – Retirement Paradise

Located in Malaysia’s north western coast, Penang is otherwise known as The Island of Pearls, The Emerald of the Indian Ocean and a Mecca for Malaysia cuisine. Penang is a world attraction with a rich cultural background, natural landscapes and a low living cost. Insider has placed Penang into the top 20 ‘Best Holiday Destinations’ around the world.

Low living cost, a beautiful living environment and world class medical services has transformed Penang into one of the most popular retirement destinations. The Global Retirement Index placed Malaysia at 1st place with the Best Medical Services in 2019.  Penang has some of the highest quality and standardized medical equipment in the country, making it one of the most selected medical tourism destinations.

A Base for Innovative Technology

In the last decade, the Penang State received over 5.8 billion ringgit worth of FDI or 58 million ringgit on average per year. The state has the largest FDI inflow within the country. Many expect that it will receive over 5 billion ringgit in 2018 in its manufacturing sector with a strong focus in productions of electronics and electrical products.

Penang remains to be a hub for electronic manufacturing. Dell, Intel, Hitachi, BOSCH and world-renowned brands have established production lines in the city. The government launched the USD 10 million funding Industrial 4.0 Seed in March 2018, in order to support growth in local technology companies. “The first companies to receive the funding were Telebort Technologies, E-Kebun, Good Foodie Media, all of which have received world recognition,” says the minister. Such reflect the vibrancy in local technology businesses.

Hopes for the city -- Masterplan 2030 to Stimulate Economy

In 2018, Penang launched the Penang 2030 Master Plan, which emphasized on family living, green space, smart city and included over 1,000 SMEs to participate in the construction and development of the plan. The masterplan also included strategies to increase agricultural products by 20%, improve logistics connectivity and green architecture. The plan will increase the liveability index and economic status of Penang besides lowering investment risks.

Following Penang government’s push on the tourism sector, revenue generated has surpassed that from manufacturing. Tourism is now the largest backbone towards Penang’s GDP and the government has further built cultural and art districts within Penang to protect its heritage sites and encourage tourism development.

Transport System Masterplan

The Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMT) includes a number of infrastructures such as the Light Rail Transport (LRT), Single Track Rail and express bus routes. Others include improvements to the current railway and ferries besides expansion to the Penang International Airport. The projects will aid in stimulating developments and change the outlook of the city.