Where are the ‘tens of thousands’ of Tesla jobs, Najib ally asks Anwar after US trip

This follows the recent meeting between Thailand’s Srettha Thavisin and Tesla chief Elon Musk.

(Malaysia Now) – A political commentator closely linked to jailed former leader Najib Razak has questioned a claim by Anwar Ibrahim that Tesla would bring tens of thousands of jobs into Malaysia, after reports that the leading electric vehicle maker’s boss had committed to opening automobile and battery factories in Indonesia and Thailand.

Lim Sian See, a monicker for Najib’s key loyalist who is widely thought to be behind the former prime minister’s numerous online posts, raised the matter after Thailand’s newly installed Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin met Elon Musk on the sidelines of the recent United Nations General Assembly in New York.

Lim referred to the announcement by Thavisin that Tesla was looking into setting up an EV manufacturing plant in Thailand, which is already a regional auto industry hub.

Thailand’s Srettha Thavisin rings the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange while Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim delivers a sermon at a mosque in this photo compilation of the sidelines of their trip for the UN General Assembly in the US.

A similar announcement was made by Indonesian President Joko Widodo, who also met Musk last year. He expressed confidence at the time that Tesla would take up the offers of tax breaks and nickel mining concessions by setting up a production facility in Indonesia.

“Only Malaysia has not announced that Elon Musk is thinking of building any factories here.

“So where will the ‘tens of thousands of skilled job opportunities’ from Tesla to Malaysia come from?” he asked in a Facebook post.

Musk recently held a series of talks with world leaders who converged in New York for the UN summit, including Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan who also discussed the setting up of a Tesla factory in his country.

Anwar, who recently held a heavily publicised 25-minute video call with Musk, however, did not meet the US billionaire in person during his high-level US trip.

This was despite Anwar and government leaders referring to the video meeting as a sign of Musk’s interest in Malaysia throughout campaign events and speeches for the state polls last month.

Anwar subsequently announced the purchase of several Starlink satellite services kits, while the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission made the controversial move to grant Starlink a 10-year licence to operate in Malaysia, exempting it from the requirement for a 49% threshold for foreign equity imposed on those applying to be network providers.

Anwar had then estimated that “tens of thousands of skilled job opportunities” would be created through collaboration with Tesla.

To date, however, there has been no indication of further investments from Musk apart from the opening of a sales showroom in Cyberjaya.