Penang risks losing high-tech investors to Selangor, says Guan Eng

Former Penang chief minister Lim Guan Eng says the state, as the regional centre for technology, must not lose high-tech investors to Selangor. – The Malaysian Insight file pic, April 26, 2024.

FORMER Penang chief minister Lim Guan Eng has expressed fears the state is losing high-tech investments, saying his successor must be more proactive in attracting investors.

Taking aim at Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow, Lim said the man must explain losing at least one such top investment to Selangor.

He was referring to a multi-million ringgit integrated circuit (IC) design project now set to take shape in Selangor.

“Penang should have vied for the project in the first place,” Lim was quoted as saying in Free Malaysia Today, adding that the state was the regional technology hub.

He urged Chow to carry out a post-mortem to find out why Penang had missed the opportunity.

“Penang should have spent money to woo investors,” he added.

“I was told that the Selangor government has pledged RM65 million to the project and has received RM60 million more in federal funds,” the Bagan MP said.

Lim, who is the DAP chairman, said venture capitalists involved in the project have pledged RM75 million more to the park.

“This is an important investment in our future digital, internet-of-things, and artificial intelligence technology (capabilities),” he said.

He said Penang should have won over the investors given that its ecosystem is perfect for an IC design hub.

“This will also create thousands of jobs for locals,” he added.

He warned of potential reverse investments with Penang-based tech companies moving to the Klang Valley where a major IC design hub was taking shape.

Recently, Selangor announced that it will be building an IC design park in Bandar Puteri, Puchong. Work on the project is expected to begin in July.

Tech companies such as ARM Limited and Phison Malaysia have committed to set up operations in the park, touted as the largest in Southeast Asia.

In response, Chow said Penang would have deeper integration with the global chip supply chain.

He said Penang was ready to collaborate with Selangor for mutual economic growth.

“Penang, with its expertise in the manufacturing sector built over five decades, has become a ‘natural magnet’ for back-end chip manufacturing,” he was quoted as saying.

The relationship between Lim and Chow is reported to have become strained in recent months. Talk has it that the former wants to replace the chief minister with his man.

Recently, Lim had also openly criticised the state government over several issues, including regular water disruptions. – April 26, 2024.

Sign up or sign in here to comment.