Book on Lim Chong Eu’s contribution to Penang’s transformation launched.

GEORGE TOWN: The role and contribution by Penang’s second Chief Minister Lim Chong Eu in turning the state into an economic powerhouse has been immortalised in a book.

The eight-chapter book was titled ‘From Free Port to Modern Economy: Economic Development and Social Change in Penang, 1969 to 1990’ was launched by the Penang Institute here today.

It was jointly authored by Khoo Boo Teik, Toh Kin Woon, Koay Soo Lyn, Poh Heem Heem, Lim Pao Li, Ang Ong Cheng Imm, Francis Hutchinson, Muhammad Ikmal Said and Prema Chandra Athukorala.

Penang Institute executive director Datuk Dr Ooi Kee Beng said that the book provided information and illustrations of the two decades which saw Penang undergoing the industrialisation process to emerge as the Silicon Valley of the East.

“It captures in detail the difficulties involved in industrialisation of Penang and the global context in which it took place.

“Most importantly, it tells us a lot about the man on the book cover and the role he played in the modern history that cannot be underestimated,” he said in his speech at the launch of the book.

Ooi said the book explains in detail the transformation process which Penang underwent, after finding itself in dire straits, following the loss of its free port status in the 1960s to progressing into a renowned manufacturing hub today.

He said Lim’s administration played a huge part in turning the state’s economy around with the introduction of the Penang Development Corporation (PDC) and the Free Trade Zone, which is now the catalyst to the state’s growth.

The book was launched in conjunction of the 50th anniversary of PDC.

Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow, who launched the book, said it provided the steps as well as details involving the innovativeness and strategic boldness needed to pull Penang out from the bad times it found itself in the 1960s.

He said the huge steps taken by PDC and Lim ensured that the state not only succeeded in extricating itself from economic doldrums but also progressed in the years to come.

“If they had not succeeded, the brain drain from Penang would have been many times worse than has been the case,” he said in his speech.

A total of 800 copies of the book have been published and will be sold at Hikayat and Gerakbudaya bookshops at RM35 each.


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