Penang State, Digital Penang, Sunway Education Group and Khazanah collaborate to launch 42 Penang

  • Nurture digital skill, promote tech innovation in region, spearhead Malaysia's tech talent
  • State govt investing US$689k into 42 Penang to develop skills for its digital economy

Prof. Dr. Elizabeth Lee, CEO of Sunway Education Group (bottom left) & Ng Kwang Ming, CEO of Digital Penang at the MoU Signing witnessed by Zairil Khir Johari, EXCO Infrastructure, Transport and Digital Development; Chow Kon Yeow, chief minister of Penang and Kayse Foo, Director of Khazanah Dana Impak.

The Penang State Government, Digital Penang, Sunway Education Group, and Khazanah Nasional Bhd have jointly announced a landmark collaboration to establish 42 Penang, a renowned global computer science school in George Town, Penang. Named 42 Penang, it is set to become part of the distinguished network of campuses nationwide under 42 Malaysia with the Penang government investing US$689,000 (RM3.25 million) over three years into the school.

The initiative aims to be a driving force for nurturing digital skills and promoting technological innovation in the region, offering an innovative, accessible learning experience in computer science, based on the successful 42 learning model from France. 

The campus adopts a peer-to-peer learning approach, offering a unique and inclusive platform for students to acquire real world skills through project-based learning, with zero fees.

The collaborative approach of 42 Penang reflects a collective commitment to developing talent and equipping individuals with the necessary skills to meet the digital economy's demands, leveraging the strengths and expertise of each partner to empower students in the evolving technological landscape.

Key leaders from Sunway Education Group, Khazanah, and Digital Penang have played roles in establishing 42 Penang, which aligns seamlessly with 42 Malaysia's goal of producing 10,000 skilled tech talent nationwide in the next ten years. 

Chow Kon Yeow, chief minister of Penang, emphasised the alignment of 42 Penang with the vision of Penang 2030, aiming to position the state as a global technology and innovation hub. 

“We recognise the importance of tech and STEM-driven education in shaping a workforce that can meet industry demands. This will help bridge the availability of skilled professionals, creating a sustainable talent pipeline for the digital workforce in Penang,” he said. 

Chow added the state government is proud to introduce 42 Penang as the newest addition to its budding tech ecosystem. “This is not only an investment in the education of our youth but also the future of our state."

In alignment with the overarching vision laid out in Penang 2030, Ng Kwang Ming, the CEO of Digital Penang, emphasised the involvement of 42 Penang students in Digital Penang's technology initiatives. He explained, "These initiatives encompass a range of activities, including technology seminars, knowledge dissemination, and industry-focused events. This inclusion aims to provide students with a valuable opportunity to initiate their entrepreneurial journeys, thereby contributing to Penang's objective of fostering the establishment of 500 startups by the year 2030."

All stakeholders have reaffirmed their commitment to tech education by committing to provide financial support and resources to 42 Penang. This commitment enables the provision of state-of-the-art infrastructure, cutting-edge technology, and a curriculum finely tailored to meet industry needs.

Dr Elizabeth Lee, CEO of Sunway Education Group, expressed enthusiasm about the partnership in launching the transformative initiative. 

She stated, "The 42 learning model has proven its effectiveness in cultivating tech-savvy talent, and we are confident that graduates of this programme will be valuable assets to any industry. Education must continually adapt to meet the ever-evolving requirements of industry and society. This collaboration underscores our dedication to nurturing the next generation of highly skilled tech talent, ensuring they are well-prepared to excel in the dynamic landscape of the digital era."

Meanwhile, Khazanah’s managing director, Amirul Feisal Wan Zahir emphasised, “As the digital industry is advancing rapidly and the demand for skilled talent has increased, it is crucial to establish a sustainable talent pipeline that can support the numerous businesses and industries in Malaysia, equipping them with capabilities to drive digital transformation. This will contribute greatly to our Future Malaysia Programme, where we aim to support local startups and corporate venture ecosystem, which is an essential source of entrepreneurship, employment, innovation and investment for the nation.”

He further noted that this effort aligns with the firm’s commitment in delivering socio-economic impact for Malaysians through Dana Impak, a key foundation of its Advancing Malaysia strategic imperative. 

“We are excited to be part of this journey alongside with the Penang State Government, Digital Penang and Sunway Education Group, and looking forward to achieving success with 42 Penang.”

The 42 Penang campus, situated in the Creative Digital District (CD2), George Town, will offer students with access to professional and entrepreneurial opportunities in an ecosystem that encourages active engagement in tech communities and hands-on exposure to real-world applications. The CD2 initiative, co-developed with Khazanah's Think City, aims to foster innovation and investments in digital technology, software services, and creative arts, with the aim of reviving George Town’s urban core into a thriving business district. 

The district is envisioned as a city campus where creativity and digital elements intertwine, creating a vibrant, sustainable environment where students can cultivate professional relationships and participate in entrepreneurial programmes, thereby bridging the gap between academic learning and practical application in the professional realm.

Details about intakes for 42 Penang will be announced shortly. In the meantime, prospective applicants interested in the program can visit For more information about the program, please visit

Chow Kon Yeow, Chief Minister of Penang (front row, 4th from left) with guests at the announcement of 42 Penang in George Town.


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