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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs        18 January 2011

Malaysia should act on electronics industry issues

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The American Malaysian Chamber of Commerce (AMCHAM) wants

Malaysia to act more promptly to resolve outstanding issues such as human capital, foreign labor, wages, power quality and tariffs; and announcement of additional public holidays plaguing the electrical and electronic (E&E) industry.

In the area of human capital, the chamber felt the quality of graduates, especially those that are not industry ready, must be looked into to be more in-tune with industry needs.

"There is a need for skilled human capital. However, they are not industry ready when they are employed and companies are willing to train them for six months to a year period," said AMCHAM Governor Datuk Wong Siew Hai here Monday.

Speaking at a press conference after the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) dialogue session with E&E associations, he hoped the government would provide some allocation for training, including salaries.

On foreign labour, AMCHAM suggested the government continue to issue work permits for them as long as companies need their services.

"With limited work permits, foreign labour trained by companies have to return home and fresh labour is recruited, and here again the companies have to spend again to train them," he added.

As for foreign investments, Wong said many companies looked at Malaysia as a good investment destination.

"Malaysia is still competitive compared with many other countries. Although the companies surveyed are small, this is good for us because they will grow later on such as the established companies in the country now," he explained.

Earlier, in officiating MITI's first dialogue session for the year, International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed said the government would continue to place emphasis on the development of the E&E industry in Malaysia by focusing on sustaining its growth momentum and expanding into new high technology and value-added products.

"Malaysia now needs to be a strategic E&E centre offering high value for money and with a deep pool of talent.

"We will look into the issues and proposals raised by the industry players to ensure orderly development of the E&E industry in the country," he said.

Exports of E&E products between January and November 2010 rose 11.5 per cent to RM228.6 billion while imports increased 21.6 per cent to RM173.8 billion during the same period.

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