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Anwar says allowed 100pc foreign-owned Tesla, Starlink to operate in Malaysia for national good
Published on: Wednesday, November 01, 2023
By: Malay Mail
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Anwar says allowed 100pc foreign-owned Tesla, Starlink to operate in Malaysia for national good
Several news outlets previously reported that Starlink, under Starlink Internet Services Malaysia Sdn Bhd, was granted the Network Facility and Service Provider (NFP/NSP) licence on July 17, 2023 for a duration of 10 years. (Bernama pic)
Kuala Lumpur: Elon Musk-linked companies Tesla and Starlink have been allowed to operate in Malaysia as fully foreign-owned entities after taking into account their future contributions to the country.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said one of the considerations taken were the organisational structure of Starlink which operates on a global scale which requires a more effective decision-making process, status of “Malaysia Digital” based on the Bill of Guarantees, and Starlink’s direct and indirect benefits in Malaysia.

“(And) Starlink services is suitable for use in the maritime industry as well as oil and gas, given the Starlink internet connection which is stable in areas far from the coast or in the middle of the sea, enabling ships to have all time high quality internet access.

“Efficient internet access allows this industry to monitor operations more effectively, improve navigation security, as well as allowing remote control through effective automation system,” he said in a written parliamentary reply today.

Larut MP Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin had asked the PM to explain why national economic sovereignty and a condition of local equity ownership were set aside, enabling companies like Tesla and Starlink that are 100 per cent foreign owned to operate in Malaysia.

Anwar said Tesla’s exemption was not new as the decision had already been made to approve 100 per cent foreign ownership for new projects, project expansion or diversification projects for the manufacturing sector by existing and new companies starting from June this year.

Several news outlets had previously reported that Starlink, under Starlink Internet Services Malaysia Sdn Bhd, was granted the Network Facility and Service Provider (NFP/NSP) licence on July 17, 2023 for a duration of 10 years.

This allows Starlink to legally offer commercial satellite services in Malaysia.

In July, tech news outlet SoyaCincau reported the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) saying that Starlink Internet Services Malaysia Sdn Bhd — known as Starlink Malaysia — was given 12 months from the date of issuance to commence its operations.

The news portal also cited the MCMC saying the licence condition is required of all new individual licence holders under the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998.

MCMC clarified that Malaysia has a 49 per cent threshold for foreign equity imposed on all Network Facilities Provider and Network Services Provider licence holders, adding that this condition was required by the Communications and Multimedia Ministry.

Licence applicants may request to be exempted from the requirement and submit clear and compelling reasons for it.

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