Friday, May 30, 2008

Penang CM chided for claiming FDI successes - The Star

PETALING JAYA: May 30, 2008

Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng has been chided for claiming credit for two high-profile foreign direct investments (FDI) into Penang.

Mark Ooi Swee Hing, the former political secretary of Lim's predecessor Tan Sri Koh Tsu Koon, said Lim gave the impression that the investments were due to the new government's efforts within a short span of two months.

“To set the record straight, the effort of the new government in the last two months merely represented the final short phase of a long process of promotion and negotiations stretching back one to two years.

“His announcements did not at all acknowledge the crucial roles Koh played in convincing the investors to locate here, together with the Malaysian Industrial Development Authority (MIDA),” he said at a press statement yesterday.

The two FDIs are from Japan’s Ibiden Co Ltd (RM1.2bil) and United State’s Honeywell (RM115mil).

Ooi said in each of the cases, Lim had “hurriedly called a press conference to claim credit the day after MIDA made the announcement”.

“Such publicity was obviously aimed at giving the impression that these investments are solely the result of the new state government’s efforts in investment promotion,” he said.

He added that multi-national companies usually took time to assess economic feasibility, logistics, local supply chain and human resources, fiscal and tax incentives before deciding.

“In the case of Ibiden, the entire process took two years and Dr Koh himself personally visited Ibiden’s headquarters near Nagoya, Japan, on July 19, 2007 and met with their top management to present a strong case for Penang,” said Ooi.

He also explained that in Honeywell’s case, the process also took considerable time and effort, with the decision to invest only made and reported in the US press on Feb 28 this year.

“It is only fair and proper that the new state government honestly gives due credit to the previous state administration as well as to MIDA and the Treasury for the work they have done.''

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