SEBERANG PERAI (June 9, 2008): By Opalyn Mok
Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng says Penang Umno's call for the second bridge to be scrapped had undermined foreign investors' confidence in the state.
"Umno's call in March has particularly affected investments from (South) Korea," he added.
"My trip to (South) Korea was to restore their (Koreans) confidence and although we know that the bridge will commence and be built due to assurances from the second finance minister, we have to try very hard to convince them about this," he said.
He added that if necessary, he may have to make another trip to (South) Korea to give them further assurances that the bridge project will commence.
Lim said his recent trip to Hongkong and (South) Korea was a business networking visit to reintroduce Penang to investors.
"Many in Hongkong have not been to Penang since 15 or 20 years ago, so it is time for them to re-visit Penang," he said.
Speaking in a press conference after the ground breaking ceremony of Ibiden Electronics Malaysia Sdn Bhd in the Penang Science Park in Bukit Minyak today, Lim said there are companies in the biotechnology, high technology, manufacturing and service industries with high wage job opportunities that are interested in coming to Penang.
"It is not appropriate for me to announce which companies are coming here as confidentiality is important. We have to respect the confidentiality of the companies and let them make their announcements," he said.
Lim described vernacular Chinese newspaper reports quoting certain politicians as revealing foreign investors' plan as "irresponsible".
"These politicians, especially those who have been in this for 18 years, should understand that this should be kept in strict confidentiality. It could be efforts by them (the politicians) to discourage investments here," he said.
"We should not identify companies which have not finalised their decisions to invest here as we must respect their need for strict confidentiality," he said.
It is believed one of the politicians Lim was referring to is former Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon who has been quoted by the vernacular newspapers.