PETALING JAYA: The Penang Chief Minister has refuted claims by the Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF) that over 50,000 Malaysians were expected to lose their jobs this year.
Lim Guan Eng (pic) said the retrenchment of 50,000 Malaysians would not happen in Penang.
“In fact we are still short of workers, as I mentioned earlier 20,000 workers,” he said in a video clip posted by Buletin Mutiara on Facebook on Saturday.
On Wednesday (Jan 3), MEF executive director Datuk Shamsudin Baradan reportedly said the job market would be hit hard, with the manufacturing sector being the most affected.
Shamsudin also said this will be followed by the service sector in industries such as insurance, banking and retail, as well as construction, due to worsening economic conditions.
On the contrary, Lim said that there was also encouraging growth in the manufacturing segment.
“In the first nine months, in terms of investments, we recorded RM9.9bil compared to RM4.3bil the year before,” he said.
When it comes to the tourism sector, Lim said the number of tourists visiting Penang had also increased.
“Our hotels, unlike other states which had recorded a decline, have posted an increase. (This) not just on the island but also on the mainland,” he said.
Lim said the Penang International Airport was also a testament to the growth of the state, in that it had exceeded its capacity of 6.5 million passengers.
“In 2016, we exceeded 6.7 million passengers, so we have exceeded (passenger) capacity four years (sooner than expected),” he said, adding that the airport had only expected to exceed its passenger capacity by 2020.