A surge of nationalism among Muslim Malaysians, buoyed by the regional currency turmoil, may benefit small domestic plastics processors through a new policy requiring products containing local content.
In October, Malaysia Electric Corp. Bhd. in the state of Pahang appointed three other Pahang firms owned by Muslim Malaysians, or Bumiputera, to supply it with plastic components, transformers and printed circuit boards.
The three companies are Filter Power Sdn. Bhd., Zillion Tech Sdn. Bhd. and Largewise Sdn. Bhd., a small plastics processor.
Five more Bumiputera companies are expected to be selected as vendors, said Pahang State Secretary Datuk Abdul Ghani Sulaiman.
An additional 19 applications from Bumiputera firms have been lodged, according to the Pahang branch of the Malay Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
``Although priority is given to Pahang-based companies, those from outside the state can also apply,'' Abdul said.
Malaysia Electric Corp. is a US$1.21 billion project launched by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Mahathir Mohamad in March to speed up Malaysia's entry into the global electrical appliances industry.
The facility will comprise about 20 factories manufacturing products for the telecommunications, information technology, health-care and office automation markets.
Successful supplier companies enjoy a special tax status, cheap loans and generous government allowances.
To be eligible for this program, supplier companies must have at least 75 percent Muslim Malaysian ownership, backed by net worth of between M$100,000 and M$5 million (US$30,303-US$151,515).
Since earlier this year, many Malaysian companies have been languishing in the deepening currency crisis, which shaved about 40 percent off the ringgit's value vs. the U.S. dollar.