Tesla, Starlink allowed 100% foreign ownership for nation’s benefit, says Anwar

PM says the government took into account a range of benefits before waiving the local equity requirement.

(FMT) – The government’s decision to grant 100% foreign ownership to companies such as Tesla and Starlink is to promote economic growth and technological advancement, says Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim.

Anwar told the Dewan Rakyat that in the case of Starlink, the factors considered were global organisational structure, which demands a more effective decision-making process, as well as the Malaysian Digital Bill of Guarantees and the benefits of Starlink services nationwide.

Anwar further said Tesla’s exemption on foreign ownership rules that prevent any foreigner or foreign company from owning 100% equity was in line with the government’s prior approval for new projects, expansions and diversification initiatives in the manufacturing sector.

He was replying to a question from Hamzah Zainudin (PN-Larut), who wanted to know why the government did not apply the local equity ownership requirement for either company.

The equity ownership was introduced in the New Economic Policy in 1970. It was aimed at helping Bumiputeras achieve a 30% equity share in businesses operating in Malaysia, but the mechanics of how this is achieved varies according to industry.

Previously, Anwar had welcomed the entry of the Elon Musk-owned companies into the domestic market, pointing to the technological, economic and manufacturing benefits they would bring with them.