Short time to capitalise on the semiconductor industry

Malaysia has 5-10 years to capitalise on the global semiconductor industry, said deputy minister of investment, trade and industry Liew Chin Tong.

“I would like all leaders in the semiconductor industry and in government to have a great sense of urgency, that we have a window of opportunity between 5 to 10 years to make the semiconductor supply chain in Malaysia the most secured and resilience, ensure we have the most dynamic and well-paid workforce, and be massively involved in Research and Development to acquire technologies.

“In the simplest terms, we must make Penang and Malaysia stick around for a long time for the industry. We must make Penang and Malaysia sticky for the workforce, especially our skilled employees, and we can be sure of having our second takeoff.”

He said this during a visit to Lam Research in Penang. The visit is part of a three day visit to the semiconductor sector in Penang and Kulim, Kedah.

Government’s role

On the part of the government, he said that it would not resort to find cheap labour.

“We must all be very clear, for the semiconductor sector, while the world is competing for talents, Penang and Malaysia have no shortage of talents, the problem is pay is too low, and therefore our people ended up working in Singapore. The role of the government is not to find cheap labour and cheap engineers for industry.

“It must ensure the industries would get all the help to acquire technology and to be resilient while ensuring the workers have better jobs with better pay.

“The government recognises the importance of the semiconductor industry and the urgency to reshape the industry. A National Semiconductor Strategic Task Force chaired by MITI Minister Tengku Zafrul Aziz was formed in February, and last month Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has instructed MITI to formulate a Semiconductor Strategy Plan.”

The demand for the semiconductor industry also have peaked due to the US-China rivalry.

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