GEORGE TOWN, Oct 13 – Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng has described the remarks made by International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed as personal attacks against him on the former’s claims that the federal government and investment agency Malaysian Investment Development Authority (Mida) have stopped introducing investors to the island over the past year.
Lim said the issue of investment is too important an issue to be used as a medium of personal attacks or be politicised as it involved the interest of the country. “If there is something good done in or by a state, then it would also be beneficial to the country which would lead to other states as well. “Taking into account these principles and values, I do not wish to dance to his (Mustapa’s) tune in launching personal attacks, but to place emphasis and attention on the issues raised.
Lim substantiated that Mida was seen to have lost interest in Penang and stated such as investments referred by Mida to investPenang have seen a significant drop over a period of five years (2010 to 2014). In 2011, he said, there were only 26 new potential investors referred by Mida to investPenang followed by 24 in 2012 and 14 last year followed by only two for this year (January to September.)
“Even new potential investors referred by investPEnang to Mida has dropped precipitously from 17 for last year to 13 for this year for the period of January to September,” Lim told a press conference in his office in Komtar here today. He went on to chide Mustapa by saying that even though the overall investments for Penang has increased from RM12.2bil to RM3.1bil this year for January to May, the number of investments referred by Mida was still very low.
“I am talking based on facts and I am ready to share this facts and information with Mustapa and I am also ready to meet with him on this matter; I do not harbour any wish to have this issue politicised. “As mentioned before, foreign investment is too important an issue to be used as fodder for personal attacks or to be politicsed or be seen as something personal, and the state government will manage this issue in a mature way for national interest,” he said.
Lim went on to voice his refusal to engage in any political polemics with Mustapa but his willingness to share the factual information with the latter and to furnish the details on the latest development to the minister. Established in 2004, investPenang is an entity of the state government that promotes investments within Penang with aims to sustain, rejuvenate and further promote business activities
Yesterday, Lim was slammed by Mustapa for alleging that the federal government and Mida had stopped introducing investors to the island over the past year. Describing the claim made by Guan Eng as preposterous, Mustapa said the government and Mida had never discriminated against Penang. Lim was told by the minister to get his facts correct before he making unfounded claims. And described Lim’s statement as a cheap publicity stunt.
Lim was reported by an online news portal as saying that the federal government had “frozen” the efforts by Mida to lure and facilitate foreign investments to Penang. Lim claimed that as a result, Mida had stopped introducing and recommending companies and has not responded to the state’s letters for support or follow up on potential investments.