Samsung: No Decision Yet On Malaysia Chip Plant

Electronics maker is 'exploring various investment opportunities in southeast Asian countries,' but hasn't settled on a location.

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) -- Samsung Electronics Co. said Monday that it has yet to decide whether to build a memory chip plant in Malaysia.
The company is ''exploring various investment opportunities in southeast Asian countries, but no decision has been made,'' said spokeswoman Lee Eun-hee.
Samsung was responding to a report in the Malaysian newspaper Business Times that it may invest 3.5 billion ringgit (US$1.1 billion; euro699.2 million) to build a memory chip assembly and test plant in the northern state of Penang.
The report said Samsung launched talks last year with local authorities on the proposed facility on the state's mainland. The plant would employ some 3,000 workers, it said.
But the investment decision hinges on a firm commitment on the completion by early 2011 of a second bridge linking the mainland to Penang island, where the airport is located, it said.
The newspaper quoted a person it did not identify as saying that ''logistics and speedy transportation of chips from the factory to the airport is critical'' to Samsung's operations.
Concerns over a delay in the 23-kilometer (14-mile) long bridge project arose after Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's ruling coalition lost control over Penang, a major industrial and tourism hub, in March 8 general elections.
Abdullah has pledged that the project will go on even though the state is now in opposition rule.
The opposition now has control of 5 of Malaysia's 13 states.
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