Jobs than losses

> Some 20,000 va­can­cies are still avail­able in Pe­nang, says Guan Eng


GE­ORGE TOWN: Job losses in Pe­nang caused by global in­dus­trial trends can be ab­sorbed by new in­vest­ments, ex­pan­sions and open­ings in the state, said Chief Min­is­ter Lim Guan Eng.

He said there was a net gain in jobs avail­able de­spite re­struc­tur­ing ex­er­cises and clo­sures which af­fected op­er­a­tions glob­ally.

He said some 20,000 jobs were still avail­able in the man­u­fac­tur­ing sec­tor in Pe­nang and the num­ber may be higher if the tourism and ser­vices sec­tors were fac­tored in.

“There are job losses, there are also jobs cre­ated and the net ef­fect is a gain,” he said in a press con­fer­ence yes­ter­day.

The in­vest­ment cli­mate in Pe­nang was re­cently called into ques­tion af­ter sev­eral tech­nol­ogy com­pa­nies de­cided to pull out from the state.

These in­cluded Ru­bi­con Tech­nol­ogy Inc, Sea­gate Tech­nol­ogy Plc, West­ern Dig­i­tal Corp and In­tel where some 4,000 jobs are likely to be af­fected.

Lim hit back at crit­ics and asked why the state was blamed when com­pa­nies closed but the fed­eral govern­ment was praised when in­vest­ments were recorded.

“This is un­fair and il­log­i­cal,” he said, adding his ad­min­is­tra­tion worked closely with fed­eral agen­cies to at­tract in­vest­ments.

Lim ear­lier at­tended the first an­niver­sary of so­lar power prod­ucts man­u­fac­turer JA So­lar Hold­ings Co Ltd’s op­er­a­tion in Pe­nang and launched its ex­pan­sion project.

The com­pany is in­vest­ing a fur­ther RM200 mil­lion to ex­pand its man­u­fac­tur­ing plant at the Bayan Lepas Free In­dus­trial Zone.

JA So­lar pres­i­dent Xie Jian said the in­vest­ment will in­crease ca­pac­ity to 1 gi­gawatt per an­num and will also cre­ate 300 job op­por­tu­ni­ties for the lo­cal econ­omy.

“Our to­tal cap­i­tal in­vest­ment now is RM500 mil­lion,” he said.

In his speech, China Con­sulGen­eral to Pe­nang Wu Jun said there were huge op­por­tu­ni­ties for China en­ter­prises to tap into Malaysia.

He pointed out that China has been the largest trad­ing part­ner for Malaysia for seven years.

“Malaysia has ap­proved Chi­nese in­vest­ment worth nearly US$400 mil­lion (RM1.6 bil­lion) in the first quar­ter of this year,” he added.

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