Penang: Happiness index to track state govt performance

GEORGE TOWN (August 29): Penang mulls the introduction of a happiness index, in order to measure residents’ reaction to the policies implemented by the state government, said Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow.

The Malay Mail reports that Chow said the state government could conduct regular surveys on the happiness level of the people through various means including social media.

“We can do this regularly so that all the arms of the government can have a better grasp of how people are reacting to the many policies we implement,” he said.

This would be in addition to feedback received via social media, the surveys would provide more detailed information about satisfaction levels.

Chow also said the state must nurture creative industries and niche businesses. He stressed that there was a need to spur the state’s economy, further improve its manufacturing industry, and create a variety of tourism products, while also modernising sustainable agriculture.

“We need a ‘Made in Penang’ brand to call our own. Penang is beyond just char koay teow and nasi kandar,” he said.

The Malay Mail quoted Chow who talked about closing the mainland-island “divide” in the state, and the need to increase focus on the development of Seberang Perai.

“The Penang Channel should not continue to be something that separate the two parts of the state but the difference should be considered as potential for the state’s growth,” he said.

He suggested water taxis as fast, efficient alternatives to ferries, for increased connectivity between the mainland and the island.

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