Penang factories aren’t leaving, viral photo is fake

Penang’s industrial zone in Bayan Lepas, continues to draw attention from investors. (Bernama pic)

GEORGE TOWN: A picture circulating on social media claiming many high-value factories are leaving Penang is fake, says the state’s investor relations agency.

Invest-in-Penang Berhad director Lee Kah Choon said it had contacted all the factories depicted in the picture and all denied leaving, closing partially or shutting down their factories in Penang.

In a statement, Lee said the companies are now considering legal action.

Lee said while there is no exodus of factories leaving Penang, there has been a restructuring of workers to meet market conditions and demand.

He said the investment and employment situation in Penang remains stable as 98% of Penang’s working population is “gainfully employed”.

“Many of these companies are listed locally and abroad.

“Such fake news may have an impact on their share prices and the morale of their employees.

Invest-in-Penang Berhad director Lee Kah Choon. (Buletin Mutiara pic)

“The public is advised to stop circulating this fake news as it is an offence under the Anti-Fake News Act 2018, which carries a fine of up to RM500,000 or a jail term of up to six years or both,” he said.

Penang recorded a 46% drop in total investments, both domestic and foreign, in 2018, compared with the year before.

Data from the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (Mida) showed total investment in Penang last year was RM5.8 billion, compared with RM10.8 billion in 2017.

The state government said the state had garnered an average of at least RM5 billion in investments yearly over the past 10 years.

The state also said the fluctuation in investments over the past two years was normal as the state’s major industry — electrical and electronics (E&E) — goes through cyclical changes every three to four years.

The Penang government said high-value investments had poured into the E&E, healthcare and manufacturing sectors.