Some questions have been raised about a so-called “extraordinary RM4bn investment” for Penang.
First off, I think we shouldn’t get too excited about FDI figures and use them as the key benchmark to measure economic success. We should look at qualitative aspects as well. We need to consider the impact on employment, the environment, and long-term sustainability. Is the investment beneficial to the local community and what is the impact on small businesses (e.g. if a hypermarket is built)? If companies repatriate their profits and are granted tax holidays, how will they contribute to the domestic economy? Will the investment result in technology transfer – technology that is useful for the local people, that is?
We certainly don’t want foreign investments that pollute the environment, contribute little to the local economy, deplete our natural resources (e.g. forests) and promote militarism (weapons manufacturing).
Press Statement By Penang Chief Minister And DAP Secretary-General Lim Guan Eng In Komtar, George Town & Kuala Lumpur On 24 June 2011.
What Is The Extraordinary Investment For A Global Center From An American Company Which Dr Koh Tsu Koon Claimed On 16 May 2011 That He Had A Role To Play In Bringing To Penang?
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon should prove that he has the courage to own up to his own mistake of a false investment announcement by an American company instead of trying to cover up his failure with another lie. Dr Koh must fully account to Malaysians what is the extraordinary investment for a global center from an American company which he claimed on 16 May 2011 that he had a role to play in bringing to Penang.
Dr Koh claims that he had never announced that Motorola was investing RM4 billion in Penang. However Koh is not being honest. Reports in all main newspapers, such as the Star and the Sun on 17 May 2011 had reported Koh as saying that the Prime Minister will announce an extraordinary investment to set up a global center by a United States firm during his visit to the US.
Koh even boasted in The Sun on 17 May 2011 that he had played a role as an adviser to the US company in coming to its decision, which is to be announced by Najib in New York. True enough, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak announced on 19 May 2011 of a new RM4 billion investment by a Motorola to set up a global excellence center. This new RM4 billion announcement was widely reported in all newspapers including Bernama, Star, Sun, Utusan, Berita Harian and in MIDA websites.(see chronology of press reports below)
Koh now claims that this new RM4 billion investment was a mistake by Reuters. If so then why was this mistake not corrected by all the mainstream news media including Bernama? No one in Malaysia was aware that Najib and Reuters had made a mistake as not a single correction was reported in Malaysian news media. Were the official Malaysian media accompanying Najib so incompetent that they did not correct the RM 4 billion mistake? This can not be so.
Najib’s announcement of a RM 4 billion investment had delighted Penangites and Malaysians. The Penang state government was willing to thank Koh for helping to bring the RM4 billion new investment to Penang. But this empty boast by Koh had not only deeply disappointed Malaysians and Penangites but also shamed the Prime Minister for making a false announcement in front of the foreign audience in the United States.
If Motorola is not the extraordinary investment of a US company in Penang, then Koh should explain what is the amount and from which American company is that extraordinary investment coming to Penang? Many Penangites are shaking their heads that Koh despite 18 years of experience as Penang Chief Minister can make such a shameful mistake.
Can Koh Tsu Koon please stand up and own up to your mistake so that you can learn from it and improve your performance in your new job as Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department?
LIM GUAN ENG