Chong urges federal govt to do more to enhance Sarawak’s appeal to local and foreign investors

Chong Chieng Jen (file photo)

KUCHING, Oct 25: Stampin MP Chong Chieng Jen has called on the federal government to identify several key growth areas in Sarawak to provide better tax incentives and grants to attract both foreign direct investments (FDIs) and domestic direct investments (DDIs) in order to bridge the existing gap in industrial and economic development between Peninsular Malaysia and Sarawak.

Noting that Malaysia successfully secured RM71.4 billion in approved investments in the first quarter of 2023 across the five leading states of Kuala Lumpur, Johor, Selangor, Perak, and Sabah, Chong raised the question of Sarawak’s position in this scenario.

During the initial quarter of 2023, FDI contributed RM37.5 billion, while DDI accounted for RM33.9 billion. The lion’s share of these investments went to Kuala Lumpur (RM21.8 billion), followed by Johor (RM10.6 billion), Selangor (RM7.4 billion), Perak (RM7.1 billion), and Sabah (RM6.3 billion).


“There is already a great disparity in industrial and economic development between Peninsular Malaysia and Sarawak. If this investment trend continues, the disparity will widen over time, instead of what the Prime Minister (Dato Seri Anwar Ibrahim) mentioned ‘ensuring that the regional development is more balanced’,” he said when debating the Budget 2024 in Parliament today.

Over past decades, Chong highlighted, hundreds of thousands of Sarawakians were drawn to Peninsular Malaysia, especially the Klang Valley, because there were better economic opportunities.

To realise more balanced regional development and reverse this demographic movement, Chong stressed it was imperative for the federal government to formulate policies that render Sarawak more attractive for FDIs and DDIs compared to Peninsular Malaysia. — DayakDaily