GEORGE TOWN, May 27 — The federal government should consider upping its development funds for Penang, state Yang di-Pertua Negri Tun Ahmad Fuzi Abdul Razak said today.

He pointed out that Penang was only allocated 1.3 per cent of the total national allocation for development projects under the second rolling plan of the 12th Malaysia Plan, even though the island state is among the biggest investment contributors to the federal purse.

"If we take into account the state’s contributions to the Gross Domestic Product and the state’s investment achievements recently, it is reasonable that the federal government consider approving higher allocation funds for Penang," he said in his speech at the opening of the state legislative assembly this morning.

He said the federal government approved an allocation amounting to RM997 million for a total 189 projects, out of which 163 are physical projects and 26 are non-physical projects.

Ahmad Fuzi noted Penang recorded the highest investments in the country in 2021 despite global economic uncertainties.

Citing figures from Malaysian Investment Development Authority (Mida), he said Penang recorded a total RM76.22 billion in investments for 111 projects that are expected to create 12,024 new jobs.

"The total foreign investments contributed 98 per cent or RM74.44 billion while domestic investments dropped by 50 per cent to RM1.78 billion," he said.

He said a total 97 per cent of the investments approved in 2021, amounting to RM73.9 billion were under the electrical and electronic industry.

But Ahmad Fuzi also thanked Putrajaya for channeling an RM20 million allocation in 2021 through the Finance Ministry to implement small scale projects under Skim Program Strategik Memperkasa Rakyat dan Ekonomi (Pemerkasa).

He said a total of 315 small scale projects under Pemerkasa has been successfully carried out with aid from 12 agencies.

Other than its focus to draw investors in the manufacturing sector, he said the state is also focusing on encouraging investors in the digital economy sector such as global business services, research and design and design and development.