• The site will be located at Sime Darby Property Bhd's Elmina Business Park, in Greater Kuala Lumpur.

KUALA LUMPUR (May 30): The Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry (Miti) said it had secured a commitment by Google to invest US$2 billion (RM9.4 billion) to house the first Google data centre and Google Cloud region in Malaysia.

The site will be located at Sime Darby Property Bhd's (KL:SIMEPROP) Elmina Business Park, in Greater Kuala Lumpur.

In a statement on Thursday, Miti Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz (pictured) said the data centre will power Google's popular digital services, such as Search, Maps, and Workspace, while also playing an essential role in enabling Google to deliver the benefits of artificial intelligence (Al) to users across the country.

“When operational, Malaysia will join the 11 countries where Google has built and currently operates data centres to serve users around the world.

“The Google Cloud region, on the other hand, will deliver high-performance and low-latency cloud infrastructure, analytics, and AI services to large enterprises, start-ups, and public-sector organisations, while maintaining the highest security and regulatory compliance standards,” the minister said.

Miti said in the statement the initiative by Google will support 26,500 jobs across various sectors in Malaysia — including in healthcare, education, and finance — with the total economic impact valued at RM15.04 billion.

The Malaysian cloud region will join 40 regions and 121 zones currently in operation around the world to meet growing demand for cloud services locally and globally, as well as Al literacy programmes for Malaysian students and educators.

The announcement was made after a series of Miti-facilitated engagements involving Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim with Alphabet and Google president, chief investment officer, and chief financial officer Ruth Porat. Alphabet is Google's parent company.

A memorandum of understanding was previously signed between the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (Mida) and Google in November last year.

Moving up the global value chain

All in all, Tengku Zafrul said the latest investment of RM9.4 billion will significantly advance the digital ambitions outlined in the country’s New Industrial Master Plan 2030.

“The Google data centre and Google Cloud region in Greater Kuala Lumpur will empower our manufacturing and service-based industries to leverage AI and other advanced technologies to move up the global value chain,” he said.

Meanwhile, Porat said Google's first data centre and Google Cloud region in Malaysia is the company’s largest planned investment so far in the country.

“This investment builds on our partnership with the Malaysian government to advance its 'cloud first policy', including best-in-class cybersecurity standards.

“With today's (Thursday) announcement, Malaysia and Google are partnering to advance our shared work to create a supportive ecosystem for innovation, and unlock the potential of digital transformation,” she said.

At the time of writing, shares in Sime Darby Property had gained four sen or 3.33% to RM1.24, giving the company a market capitalisation of RM8.43 billion.

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