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Malaysia to build massive chip design park: PM

KUALA LUMPUR (AFP) – Malaysia’s leader yesterday announced plans to build a massive semiconductor design park, aiming to boost the Southeast Asian nation’s role in the global chip industry.

A prominent player in the semiconductor industry for decades, Malaysia accounts an estimated 13 per cent of global back-end manufacturing, according to German tech giant Bosch.

Now it wants to go beyond production and emerge as a chip design powerhouse too, Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim said yesterday.

“I am pleased to announce the largest IC (integrated circuit) Design Park in Southeast Asia, that will house world-class anchor tenants and collaborate with global companies such as Arm,” Anwar said in a speech, referring to the British chip design giant. The park will be located in Selangor state, he said, without offering any details on costs and timelines.

AFP has reached out to Arm for comment.

The project would mark a significant step for Malaysia, which has long been a chip manufacturing hub, with its northern island of Penang home to a number of facilities and is often dubbed the country’s Silicon Valley.

The Malaysian government is actively pursuing investment in its semiconductor industry, and Anwar has said the country should have done better with past opportunities to grow the sector.

“The fact is that we have experienced missed opportunities in technology investments, making it imperative for us to re-strategise,” he said yesterday.

File photo of Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim. PHOTO: AFP