Lure Apple and Dyson with better incentives, says Anwar

Anwar Ibrahim says bringing Apple, in particular, to Malaysia will make the country the ‘Tiger of Asia’ once more.

PETALING JAYA: PKR today said it wants iPhone maker Apple and home appliances maker Dyson to invest in Malaysia.

“We recognise that, of course, there are differences between America and China on policies, which has been termed as a trade war,” PKR president Anwar Ibrahim said.

“But instead of just expressing concern over this, we should utilise our position, our niche as a vibrant, open economy with a capable and qualified workforce, to invite and provide additional incentives for iPhone and Dyson, two known big players who are exploring and considering areas or destinations in Southeast Asia, for them to operate.

“Of course, I’m doing whatever I can to support the initiative with the help of the prime minister and relevant ministers,” he said, adding that approaches have been made from both sides.

Anwar added that it was important to reassure these companies on the stability in the country as well as on the transition plan that will see him succeeding Dr Mahathir Mohamad as prime minister.

“I’ve reassured them, categorically. This is not an issue,” he told reporters after chairing the monthly PKR central leadership council meeting at the party’s headquarters here.

Anwar also said the two companies want to know what additional incentives will be given by Malaysia for them to start shop here and how fast this can all be approved.

“All three issues are being addressed by the government.”

He said the central leadership committee had also agreed to this plan.

Earlier, Anwar said bringing Apple, in particular, to Malaysia would make the country the “Tiger of Asia” once more.

Malaysia is among the countries being considered by Apple as it studies a plan to move about 15-30% of its production capacity from China amid the continuing Sino-US trade war, Nikkei Asian Review reported last week.

The financial daily, citing sources, said Apple had asked its major suppliers to assess the implications of such a move following its decision not to depend too heavily on manufacturing in China.

Last September, meanwhile, Sir James Dyson, billionaire British inventor of the bagless vacuum cleaner, expressed interest in bringing new investments into Malaysia and enhancing the capability of Malaysian engineers.

Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, at the time, said the government would amend “restrictive” policies so that Dyson would be more keen to invest in Malaysia.

‘Not fair to question Azmin at this difficult time’

Meanwhile, on the gay sex scandal implicating PKR deputy president Mohamed Azmin Ali, Anwar said Azmin would not be called in by the party for questioning.

“I don’t think it is fair, at this juncture to question him during this difficult time.

“May I reiterate: our position is that we reject gutter politics,” he said.

“So we are not interested in questioning or discussing this.

“This has also been the position of the disciplinary bureau,” he added. “They’ve been very tough in this issue.”

Anwar also said Azmin should be the one to respond when asked if the economic affairs minister should sue Haziq Aziz as “dared” by the PKR Santubong Youth chief himself today.

“That’s purely a decision that Azmin and his counsel have to make. I don’t think it is proper for me to intervene.

“I will, of course, convey my personal views on this to him (Azmin) from time to time.”

This comes after Haziq challenged Azmin to lodge a police report against him and haul him to court if Azmin is adamant about his innocence.

Haziq shocked the nation when he admitted that he was one of two men filmed engaging in homosexual acts at a hotel in Sandakan, Sabah, last month. Videos of the acts circulated recently.

The former private secretary of Deputy Primary Industries Minister Shamsul Iskandar Mohd Akin also named Azmin as the other person in the video.

Azmin has strongly denied the claim, calling it a nefarious plot to destroy his career, and threatened to take legal action.

Haziq, who is being probed for several offences, including carnal intercourse against the order of nature and distributing obscene material, today reiterated that he was not a liar.

He said he wanted the matter brought to court so Malaysians “can see for themselves the evidence”.

Azmin’s lawyer later shrugged off the dare, saying his side will not act or respond according to such “attention-seeking taunts”.

“All legal responses are done as we see fit, according to our timetable and are not imposed by others,” N Surendran added.