PEKAN: The facilitation fund created by the bumiputera Agenda Steering Unit (Teraju) has helped bumiputera companies grow and develop collaboration with global companies, the prime minister, Najib Razak, said today.
He said investments by bumiputera companies together with big companies had also helped boost the economy and create jobs.
“Without this fund, investment will not become a reality, but when there is such a platform, we want to make sure that its impact can also be felt by the people and the country. We just don’t want to have only factories that rake in profits.
“When there is foreign direct investment, it helps develop the local economy and gives opportunities to the people and local companies. I think this (kind of) investment will generate good profits,” he said.
He was speaking when opening a Mercedes-Benz assembly plant built by Nilai Mahir (M) Sdn Bhd.
Set up in 1989, Nilai Mahir, a subsidiary of Kumpulan Harmodal Sdn Bhd, received a RM4.76 million loan from the Facilitation Fund to facilitate the construction of the assembly plant.
Najib said the government’s initiative in enhancing the bumiputera’s economy did not mean that it did not help people of other communities as the main goal was to ensure that the nation’s wealth was equitably distributed.
“We also want to see the previously less developed areas such as Pekan being transformed into rapidly developing areas, and in the case of Pekan, we had classified it as the nation’s automotive hub.
“As a result, we’ve seen how various companies began making their presence and attracted foreign investors with very famous brands such as Mercedes-Benz gaining a foothold here,” he said.
Najib said the rapid economic development would not happen without help from the government in formulating various policies meticulously and ensuring that every plan was being executed effectively.
“As a government, we are not only good at talking, instead we walk the talk, function as a government. This should be evaluated by the people. We are not made up of people who are only good at talking, instead we are making changes,” he said.
On the cooperation between Nilai Mahir and Mercedes-Benz, Najib described it as a good achievement and would provide long-term benefits as Mercedes-Benz was a very strong and world recognised brand.
“If we think of a successful brand, it is very difficult to match Mercedes-Benz as it has positioned itself as a dream car… an ultimate car in life to own. If you already have this car, it means you have already made it in life. So, I say good luck to this cooperation,” he said.
Nilai Mahir chief executive Al-Meiraj Mohd Ali said the company would not be able to carry out the project without the support and cooperation of federal and state agencies, Teraju and the East Coast Economic Region Development Council.
“With the grants obtained from Teraju, we were able to implement the project at lower cost. The grants were used to reduce the infrastructure capital expenditure.
“This is translated into overall structural savings for the warehouse and helped reduce overhead lease. Thus, our presence here is worthwhile and benefits the local economy,” he said.
Al-Meiraj said the construction opened up opportunities to bumiputera vendors, contractors and consultants, and the company had chosen qualified bumiputera entrepreneurs to be a part of its winning team for the project.
The 185,000 square foot warehouse on a 2.42 hectare site is a purpose-built storage facility for car components and parts.