KUALA LUMPUR, April 15 — Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin must expedite the decision on Malaysia’s cabotage policy to prevent more global technology firms from shunning the country, former finance minister Lim Guan Eng said today.
The DAP secretary-general said his party supported calls to reinstate the cabotage exemption for foreign ships conducting undersea cable repairs, adding that this would be “saving the digital future of Malaysia”.
“Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin must not dilly-dally with a meaningless two weeks review period, but choose immediately between clinging on to Transport Minister (Datuk Seri) Wee Ka Siong’s failed cabotage policy or saving the digital future of Malaysia.
“... Is the PN government now so indecisive and incompetent that they need to get six ministries involved in a straightforward matter? Under PH, this was decided efficaciously by the Transport Ministry without any fuss in line with international best practices,” he said.
Lim stressed that the revocation of the cabotage policy exemption — finalised by Wee on November 18 last year — would impede the Malaysia Digital Economy Blueprint’s (MyDigital) objectives.
“Unfortunately, Wee cannot see the loss suffered by Malaysia but only his own loss of face and exposure of his incompetence if the cabotage exemption is reinstated.
MyDigital was announced by Muhyiddin on February 19, and is meant to strengthen Malaysia’s link to the international submarine cable network, attract more investments involving international submarine cables and data centres, boost economic competitiveness through digitalisation, and develop digital talent.
Muhyiddin said MyDigital is expected to create 500,000 new job opportunities and contribute 22.6 per cent of Malaysia’s gross domestic product (GDP) by 2030.
Others who have called for the reinstatement of the cabotage policy exemption include Bersatu member and Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) chairman Datuk Rais Hussin Mohamed Ariff, who last week said that Malaysia had lost billions of ringgit in investment opportunities from companies such as Facebook and Google due to the decision.