Domestic interests to be protected in all govt policies, says Tengku Zafrul
03 Sep 2023
The Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry (MITI) will safeguard domestic interests in all policies, including the New Industrial Master Plan 2030 (NIMP 2030), said its minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz.
Despite the implementation of the policy of liberalisation, domestic direct investments (DDI) have continued to dominate in terms of approved investments, he said.
“For example, in the 10-year period from 2012 to 2021, approved DDI amounted to RM1.3 trillion, or 64 per cent of the total investments approved,” he said in a social media post in response to concerns that foreign capital would dominate in local equity holdings as a result of the NIMP 2030.
The minister explained that the liberalisation of the manufacturing sector began as far back as June 17, 2003, when 100 per cent foreign ownership in new manufacturing companies were permitted under the Second Industrial Master Plan (IMP 2).
“In other words, the liberalisation was not created by NIMP 2030; the policy (of liberalisation) has existed since IMP 2,” he said.
On concerns over economic liberalisation given to Tesla, Tengku Zafrul said the United States-based company’s entry into Malaysia is via the Battery Electric Vehicle Global Leaders Initiative (BEV GLI) programme, which is designed to attract exclusive electric vehicle (EV) makers to invest here.
According to him, Tesla’s presence will foster the confidence of other original equipment manufacturers to make Malaysia into their regional hub for EV technology.
“This will have a positive spillover effect on the national economy. We have already seen the entry of Tesla accelerating the transition to EVs in China, Hong Kong and Norway.
“When this happens, many local small and medium enterprises (SMEs) would benefit from participating in the EV ecosystem,” he said.
For the benefit of the locals, he said, Tesla’s presence in Malaysia is not just about selling cars.
“Many conditions have been imposed on it. For example, Tesla is required to install a large number of DC (direct current) fast chargers, many of which can also be used by other marques besides Tesla.
“Tesla also must employ and train locals, with at least 80 per cent of the company’s workforce being Malaysians,” he said.
Tesla is also required to collaborate with at least 10 higher education or technical and vocational education and training (TVET) centres for knowledge transfer.
“Furthermore, the company must work with at least 10 local companies and use local contractors for the local charging network to ensure that Malaysia benefits widely from its presence,” he said.
In conclusion, Tengku Zafrul explained, the NIMP 2030 targets to raise the manufacturing sector’s value added to almost RM588 billion by 2030, create 600,000 job opportunities and increase the median salary for the sector to at least RM4,510 per month.
“If such a strategy is not progressive for Malaysia, what then is progressive?” he asked.