Elon Musk and Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim discussed possibly bringing SpaceX’s Starlink internet connection to the Southeast Asian country. The pair also discussed Tesla’s interest and investment decisions in Malaysia.
Thus far, SpaceX’s Starlink internet services are offered in Japan and the Philippines in Southeast Asia. Elon Musk’s recent virtual meeting with Prime Minister Anwar suggests that Malaysia also wants Starlink internet services in the country.
The Malaysian Prime Minister believes Starlink internet could provide coverage to rural areas in the country. Tesla Malaysia already received approval to conduct business there, so SpaceX might have an easier time bringing Starlink into Malaysia.
“I welcome the company’s interest and investment decisions in Malaysia as well as Elon Musk’s willingness to come to Malaysia,” said Prime Minister Anwar.
Tesla announced the start of sales in Malaysia earlier this month with a planned launch event in Kuala Lumpur on July 20. The US-based automaker initiated Model Y pre-bookings earlier this week with a starting price of 199,000 ringgit ($44,000).
Tesla Malaysia is expected to start deliveries next year. It will contribute to the country’s goal to develop an EV ecosystem. Malaysia offers tax breaks to encourage EV adoption, like most countries that wish to transition to new energy vehicles. It aims to meet net zero emission goals by 2050.
Tesla Malaysia also plans to build a Supercharger Network in the country to support its EV transition. Tesla’s main competitor in China, BYD, also plans to enter the Malaysian EV market. BYD announced a partnership with Sime Darby Motors San worth 500 million ringgit to sell electric vehicles in Malaysia.