GEORGE TOWN: Some factories in Penang are suspending and downsizing their operations and workforce, says InvestPenang director Datuk Seri Lee Kah Choon.
Lee said this because of the slower global economic growth and the impact of the US-China trade war.
According to Lee, Malaysia will benefit from the relocation of investment out of China, but will be negatively impacted if the world economy slows down and demand drops.
“The opportunity for Penang is reallocation of our talent from sectors that are being impacted to sectors that are growing.
“There are many local as well as foreign companies which have taken this opportunity to recruit new talent.
“They are working closely with InvestPenang on this recruitment initiative.
“All are invited to send their resumes to InvestPenang’s CAT Website (https://www.penangcatcentre.my/).
“We will match them with suitable companies,” Lee added.
According to The Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers Penang vice-chairman Datuk Lee Teong Li, its members have experienced a slowdown in their business in the past two to three months.
He said most of them were small and medium enterprises involved in the food, electronic and metal component manufacturing businesses.
“So far, none have indicated that they would downsize or cut their operational hours.
“They are just experiencing a slowdown in orders,” Lee said.
Recently, Renesas Electronics Corp announced that it would shut down its operations in the country from April to September.
It said both the front-end fabrication and back-end facilities would be subjected to a temporary suspension of production.
“We will suspend the front-end factories twice, coinciding with the Japanese holiday periods in May and in August, for approximately one month, respectively.
“Operations at our back-end facilities will be shut down several times, taking customer delivery schedules into consideration,” the announcement added.
Osram announced in January 2019 that it would resize its Penang and Kulim operations in response to weaker growth and an uncertain outlook, according to a March 8 announcement by the company.
According to Osram, a voluntary separation scheme was initiated for its research and development division on March 8.
“Function heads of these departments will hold meetings to communicate further details on this programme.
“The reduction is very limited, targeting less than 1% of the total Penang and Kulim employees,” the announcement said.
Meanwhile, the Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) Penang wants the state government to call for a meeting with the electronic manufacturers in Penang to gauge the depth of the downsizing problem affecting the industry.
MTUC Penang secretary K Veeriah said in a statement that MTUC Penang had taken sight of notices from a couple of multinational corporations involved in the electronic manufacturing sector announcing manpower downsizing, lower wage increases, lower bonuses and periodic plant shutdowns.
“Besides the announcements, we have also received reports that other companies are also planning to implement such measures.
“The said notices that we have read attribute to a weak global demand, weaker growth and an uncertain global outlook as the underlying causes for the action undertaken by the said employers.
“The notices that we have seen and the information that we are receiving seem to indicate that the electronic-sector employers are initiating downsizing and shutdowns from end-March 2019 onwards. We believe that we have only received a tiny bit of information and are of the view that the uncertainty in the global market would, in all probability, impact upon most of the major players in the sector,” Veeriah said.
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