KUALA LUMPUR: Despite lower foreign direct investment (FDI) last year, Putrajaya is not concerned as Malaysia’s overall investments have increased, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

According to Anwar, the increased overall investments in the first quarter of this year were due to a surge in domestic investments in Malaysia.

“It was announced yesterday by the Investment, Trade and Industry Ministry that the figure this year was much higher than previously projected,” said Anwar during Prime Minister’s Question Time in Parliament on Tuesday (July 2).

Anwar was responding to a supplementary question by Datuk Idris Ahmad (PN-Bagan Serai), who pointed out that the Statistics Department’s figures stated that FDIs had decreased in 2023 compared to 2022.

Meanwhile, Anwar said Malaysia has become a regional semiconductor hub, and the government is attracting more investments.

According to Anwar, two challenges have been identified in meeting investment targets: ensuring the completion of basic infrastructure and providing local talent.

“More intensive training in technical and vocational education and training (TVET), universities, GiatMARA or educational institutions are needed to meet current needs,” added Anwar.

Meanwhile, Anwar said the Kerian Integrated Green Industrial Park, announced in Budget 2024 last year, was meant to increase locals’ income in north Perak and south Penang.

“It is an initiative of the Madani government and a public-private partnership to develop high-technology industrial areas. It will depend on solar energy as an energy source,” said Anwar.

Anwar said the first phase of the industrial park involves developing a 1,000 acre land.

“This is easy because the entire land is owned by Sime Darby, and the Perak state government is expediting the land acquisition process this year as well,” added Anwar.

Anwar was responding to Datuk Muhammad Bakhtiar Wan Chik, who asked about the industrial park’s direction in spurring domestic investments.

Last month, Putrajaya approved RM4bil in allocations to the industrial park and also to provide treated water supply to northern Perak and Penang.