Extracted from Malaysia's national newspaper The Star,
2 March 2004
Penang to set up MSC in Bayan Lepas
PENANG: A Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) zone will be created here to promote the development of sophisticated new growth areas, Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon said.
He said the state government, through the Penang Development Corporation, was planning to establish the zone to complement efforts to promote high-value information communication technology (ICT) to keep the state on the competitive edge to meet local and regional economic challenges.
He said the proposal to set up the first MSC zone in Bayan Lepas would be submitted to the Federal Government in the middle of the year, adding that the zone would cover part of the Bayan Lepas Industrial Park and the existing Technoplex area.
"Because this is still a new area, it will take at least three years for it to mature and yield results", he said at the fourth meeting of the fifth session of the 10th state legislative assembly yesterday.
He said the state was actively promoting high-value ICT industry in the fields of telecommunications, photonics and computer software, apart from the biotechnology and agro-technology industries.
"Development in the telecommunication industries is focused on diversification into wireless and microwave technologies," he said, adding that trans-national companies such as Motorola, Agilent Technologies and Mini Circuits were expected to expand their operations in the state.
He said that 17 local ICT companies had formed the Penang Photonics Consortium to share expertise.
"We are encouraging Universiti Sains Malaysia, Universiti Multimedia Malaysia and the Penang Skills Development Centre to offer photonic courses," he said, adding that the state was being promoted as the investment destination for the photonics industry.
He said 16 local computer software companies had set up the Software Consortium of Penang (Scope) early last year.
Dr Koh also said that the state government, through the Penang Development Corporation, had taken concrete steps to promote the bio-pharmaceutical industry.
"Penang was endorsed by the Malaysian Biotech and Bio-Diversity Council as a Bio-Valley satellite recently.
This means bio-pharmaceutical firms in Penang will enjoy the special incentives offered to those based in the Bio-Valley in Cyberjaya," he said.