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Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob took over as prime minister two weeks ago after Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin lost his parliamentary majority. — Bernama pic
Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob took over as prime minister two weeks ago after Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin lost his parliamentary majority. — Bernama pic

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KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 4 — Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Amazon are seeking to meet Malaysia’s Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob to ask that foreign vessels be allowed to repair undersea cables in the country’s waters, a Google spokesperson said roday.

The tech giants sent a letter on Wednesday to the office of the new prime minister discuss the nation’s “cabotage” policy, seeking the reinstatement of an exemption revoked last year under the previous government, said the spokesperson for Alphabet Inc’s Google.

The outreach effort is being led by the national internet exchange body, Malaysia Internet Exchange (MyIX), he said.

Facebook Inc, Microsoft Corp, Amazon.com Inc and MyIX did not immediately respond to Reuters queries on the letter. Nor did the Prime Minister’s Office or the Transport Ministry.

The ministry last November overturned the exemption, granted in 2019, allowing non-Malaysian ships to carry out repairs to submarine cables in the country’s waters. The tech giants also wrote to then-prime minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin seeking to reinstate the waiver.

Ismail Sabri took over as prime minister two weeks ago after Muhyiddin lost his parliamentary majority.

The tech group said it was “very concerned” about last year’s decision.

“This exemption had ensured that submarine cable repair works could be conducted efficiently within a short time frame, thus minimising the duration and economic impact of cable disruptions,” their letter said, according to The Edge. ­— Reuters

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