Komag plans US$20mil upgrade for Penang and Sarawak ops


BY TUNKU SHAHARIAH in Penang

KOMAG Inc will invest US$20mil to upgrade and concentrate all its manufacturing activities in Penang and Sarawak, its chief executive officer Datuk T.H. Tan said. 

“The shift in operation will give the company a cost advantage. Our performance last year was marred by a half-year of severe under-utilisation and huge restructuring and accounting write-offs. 

“However, this year, for the first time in five years, things are looking brighter, and we're off to a roaring start. This year, we're on the cusp of attaining financial success,” he added. 

He also said the company would re-invest a substantial amount in research and development and in human resource development. 

Tan was speaking to reporters following a courtesy call on Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon on Wednesday at the latter's office at the Penang Development Corp with a delegation of Komag's board of directors and board members from the US – Chris Eyre, David Takada, Kenn Swimm and Harry Van Wickle. Also present was Komag Malaysia operations vice-president and managing director Ali Dabier. 

Later, in his speech at the 10th anniversary dinner hosted by Komag USA (M) Sdn, which was attended by International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Rafidah Aziz, Tan said Malaysia could prevent an exodus of the manufacturing sector to China by leveraging on the strengths of the country's workforce and emphasising its bilingual ability and greater work ethics. 

“However, we're not going to stop borrowing talents or transferring knowledge from China when it comes to certain disciplines in which China has a decided edge,” he said. 

He said Malaysians could co-exist with a manufacturing presence in China when the right time came to establish a presence there. 

“We're working hard with Ma- laysian Industrial Development Au- thority and Miti to jointly develop this idea to help local companies and the government,” he added. 

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