Sarawak DAP chief urges state govt to improve investment strategies amid tech giant influx into Malaysia

Malay Mail
Malay Mail

KUCHING, June 20 — Sarawak DAP today called on the state government to review and enhance its investment strategies to ensure it capitalises on the influx of global tech companies into South-east Asia, and to prevent losing out to Peninsular Malaysia.

Its chairman Chong Chieng Jen said since last month, three tech giants have been announcing their plans to invest in Malaysia.

He said Microsoft announced a US$2.2 billion (RM1.4 billion) investment to build cloud and Artificial Intelligence (AI) infrastructure while Google planned to invest US$2 billion to develop its data centre in Malaysia.

He added that TikTok’s parent company had also announced that it would invest US$2.1 billion to make Malaysia a regional AI hub.

“All these investments will be based in Johor, Selangor and Penang and it seems that Sarawak is not on the radar of investment destinations of these multinational companies,” Chong, who is Stampin Member of Parliament, said in a statement.

He said he believes that the spin-off effects of these investments in the cloud and AI infrastructure will speed up the transformation of the country’s economy from the conventional model to digital and AI-driven.

“Sarawak may not have the ecosystem for this high-tech industry and the logistic advantage.

“However, Sarawak has the advantage of abundant clean and cheap energy and cheap land,” he said.

He urged the state government to capitalise on its strength to attract these high-tech investments into Sarawak, especially given that the industry is also energy-intensive and there is an international emphasis on the need for clean energy in their production line.

Chong expressed regret that the Sarawak government is only happy with exporting clean energy rather than using it to attract investments.

“Such modus is similar to the Sarawak government’s previous policy in allowing the export of logs rather than developing our wood and furniture industry.

“At the end of the day, only a handful of people making quick money from the logging industry but the state as a whole did not develop any furniture manufacturing industry,” he said.

He urged the Gabungan Parti Sarawak government to not repeat a similar mistake by merely exporting raw clean energy but instead to use the advantage of this clean energy to develop industries in the state.