GEORGE TOWN, July 5 — American companies based in Penang will not be returning home despite the US presidential tax break offer and the change of government in Malaysia.
US Ambassador to Malaysia Kamala Shirin Lakhdhir gave an assurance that her country’s companies, especially in the electronics and medical devices industries, will remain here after the peaceful power transition from Barisan Nasional to Pakatan Harapan and the prosecution of former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak yesterday.
“A lot of these firms are committed to staying here for business reasons and they look at the business climate here so no, they won’t leave,” she told reporters on board the USNS Brunswick ship that was docked at Swettenham Pier here.
“The reasons they are here has to do with trade in the region and infrastructure here, the employees here, the talent pool available,” she said.
She added that Penang is an important location for so many American companies that have been based here for decades.
Lakhdhir said foremost on the minds of the US firms were how the new PH federal government would affect their business operations.
She said Najib’s criminal and corruption court cases are unlikely to negatively affect US investor confidence in Malaysia.
“I think that it is recognised as a matter of rule of law and under the rule of law, this is a legal case. That is perceived as something positive because the rule of law is followed in the case,” she said.
Earlier, Lakhdhir said the USNS Brunswick ship was commissioned and designed by the Navy to be used as fast response for humanitarian missions and disaster relief.
The ship is the first American ship to dock in the area since 2009.
The Brunswick, together with hospital ship USNS Mercy, are visiting different Asia Pacific countries under the Pacific Partnership 2018 (PP18) to conduct technical expertise exchanges in medical, engineering, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.
The PP18 is an annual multilateral humanitarian assistance and disaster relief preparedness mission in the Indo-Asia Pacific region.