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Penang has RM2.1b in reserves to spend, shouldn’t have lost region-largest IC design park to Selangor

Penang has RM2.1b in reserves to spend, shouldn’t have lost region-largest IC design park to Selangor

KUALA LUMPUR, April 26 — Former Penang chief minister Lim Guan Eng has reportedly asked the state government to explain the loss of a multi-million ringgit integrated circuit (IC) design park to Selangor despite being able to afford to project.

Lim, who is also the DAP chairman, said Penang’s perfect ecosystem for the Malaysia Semiconductor Accelerator and IC Design Park: Selangor Hub, which has been touted as the largest in Southeast Asia.

“Penang should have vied for the project in the first place,” he was quoted as saying by Free Malaysia Today.

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

Lim said the Penang state government should have spent some money from its reserves to woo the investors as the state has more than RM2.1 billion in reserves as of 2018.

“I was told that the Selangor government has pledged RM65 million for the project and it has received another RM60 million in federal funds.”

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

Lim said as Penang is leading in the sector, a post-mortem should be conducted to pinpoint the state’s missed opportunity.

On Monday during the KL20 Summit, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim announced the plan for a hub under the Selangor Information Technology and Digital Economy Corporation (Sidec).

The project involves four strategic partners: British semiconductor giant Arm Holdings, the Shenzhen Semiconductor Industry Association, Bayan Lepas-based IC designer SkyeChip Sdn Bhd, and Malaysia AI Storage (MaiStorage) — the latter being a new venture announced by Datuk KS Pua of Taiwan-based Phison Electronics Corporation, widely regarded as the “father of USB drives”.

Sidec chief executive officer Yong Kai Ping said the Puchong hub is expected to bring in economic returns of RM500 million to RM1 billion.

On Wednesday, Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow commended the Selangor state government and the federal government initiative, however, he said the state committed to strengthening the state’s position as part of the global chip supply chain.

He said the state government has remained steadfast in securing strategic investments to boost its economy and solidify its position as a preferred investment destination in the Asia-Pacific region.