GEORGE TOWN, April 12 — Penang is set to become a catalyst for Malaysia to move up the chip value chain and solidify its position as the preferred investment destination for electrical and electronics and semiconductor production in the region, said Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow.

He said with over 50 years of industrial excellence and leadership, Penang can contribute to Malaysia’s goals as envisioned in the New Industrial Master Plan 2030 (NIMP 2030).

Chow noted that Penang, dubbed the “Silicon Valley of the East”, has always championed back-end chipmaking processes within the country and the region while the state has consistently played a pivotal role in contributing to Malaysia’s annual gross domestic product (GDP) growth.


“However, for Penang to contribute further to Malaysia’s attainment of a high-income nation, bold and innovative ideas are required not just from foreign firms but from the grassroots.

“Therefore, local tech startups that hone skills in integrated circuit design and research and development are capable of pushing Malaysia further up the value chain,” the chief minister said in a Facebook post today.

Earlier, Nikkei Asia published an article, titled “Malaysian ‘Silicon Valley’ seeds homegrown chip startups”, highlighting that the time is ripe for Malaysia to move upstream into chip designing.


Chow, who is also the state Finance, Economic Development, Land and Communications Committee chairman, pointed out that Penang’s growth trajectory looks promising with Penang International Airport expansion and Silicon Island in the pipeline.

Touching on the Penang Light Rail Transit (LRT) Mutiara Line project, he said that from boosting the property market to potentially attracting foreign direct investments, the long-awaited LRT project signifies a significant step towards more equitable development across all states.

“The LRT project is not only a relief for those who battle traffic congestion during festive seasons but also holds promising economic benefits, as highlighted by analysts,” he noted.

The federal government officially took over the LRT project from the state government following the Cabinet’s decision to approve the suggested development of the project on March 22, 2024. — Bernama