PETALING JAYA: A group of Pakatan Harapan elected representatives has backed Bagan MP Lim Guan Eng’s proposal for Penang to be made Malaysia’s second special financial zone (SFZ).
The representatives said the state urgently needs new avenues to attract foreign investments to ensure sustained economic growth.
They said Penang has traditionally attracted foreign investments through its electrical and electronics (E&E) manufacturing sector, securing its position as a top destination for investors.
“However, the lack of industrial land in Penang is limiting the inflow of foreign investments,” they said in a joint statement today.
Consequently, they said, Penang was not listed among the top five places attracting investments in the first half of 2023.
The statement was jointly issued by Bukit Bendera MP Syerleena Abdul Rashid, as well as assemblymen Wong Yuee Harng (Pengkalan Kota), Chee Yeeh Keen (Bagan Jermal), Connie Tan (Seri Delima), Joshua Woo (Pulau Tikus), K Kumaran (Bagan Dalam), Phee Syn Tze (Sungai Puyu) and Lee Boon Heung (Kebun Bunga).
Citing Johor’s Forest City as an example, they said a similar SFZ should be established in Penang to ensure synchronised development between the north and south of the peninsula.
They also said the robust development of Penang’s E&E industry, which commands 8% share of global semiconductor exports, demonstrates the state’s capability as an “economic powerhouse” and potential to thrive as an SFZ.
Last week, Lim made the proposal for Penang to be made Malaysia’s second SFZ during his debate of the 12th Malaysia Plan mid-term review.
Forest City in Johor was declared the first SFZ by the prime minister with hopes of lowering the cost of doing business and boosting the state’s economy.
Yesterday, FMT reported that two business groups have backed the former chief minister’s proposal, saying it will stem a major brain drain in Penang.