Anwar: KDN grants exemptions to Tesla and Starlink for 100% foreign ownership

PRIME Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim revealed that companies linked to Tesla CEO Elon Musk, Tesla Sdn Bhd and Starlink Internet Services Malaysia Sdn Bhd were granted permission to operate in Malaysia as 100% foreign-owned entities.

Anwar stated that these exemptions were given after considering the significant benefits these companies could bring to the nation.

“The exemption was given to Starlink by the Communications and Digital (KDN) Ministry through the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) to provide satellite internet services to Malaysian users,” he said in a written parliamentary reply yesterday (Oct 31).

Starlink Malaysia secured the Network Facilities Providers (NFP) (I) and Network Services Provider (NSP) (I) licences on July 17, 2023, which will be valid for a period of 10 years. Under the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 (Act 588), the foreign equity holding for NFP (I) and NSP (I) licence holders is typically limited to 49%.

“Nevertheless, KDN Minister Fahmi Fadzil has the right to allow licence holders to hold 100% foreign equity based on the recommendations and evaluation of MCMC. Starlink had applied for this exemption,” the Tambun MP added.

Moreover, Anwar clarified that the decision to allow 100% foreign ownership for new projects, project expansion and diversification in the manufacturing sector aligns with the government’s approach.

PM’s statement came in response to a query from Larut MP Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin who sought justification for the government’s decision not to enforce local equity holding requirements. He explained that these exemptions were part of a “liberal” approach, demonstrating Malaysia’s openness to global investments and technological advancements.

Furthermore, the Malaysian subsidiary of the renowned American electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla Inc, Tesla Sdn Bhd, officially commenced operations in Malaysia earlier on July 20. Fahmi’s issuance of the license to Starlink on the same day signified Malaysia’s inclusion as the 60th country to be served by the satellite constellation owned by Musk.

Furthermore, Malaysian subsidiary of the well-known American electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla Inc–Tesla Sdn Bhd–officially began operations in Malaysia on July 20, coinciding with Fahmi’s issuance of the license to Starlink, marking Malaysia’s entry as the 60th country served by Musk’s satellite constellation. – Nov 1, 2023


Main photo credit: Bernama

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