OVER the weekend, I had active discussions with my Penang friends who had migrated outstation and overseas over state affairs within the context of the Federation of Malaysia. The issues are important for Penang specifically and Malaysia generally.
There is definitely nothing wrong in excelling in the E&E sector and in fact it is a sector that is extremely important to the Malaysia’s economy.
From the country’s perspective, in 2018, the E&E sector created a trade surplus of RM119 billion (the highest among all subsectors for manufacturing industry).
The E&E sector represented 38% of Malaysia’s total export in 2018, amounting to RM380 billion (+11% y-o-y), and Penang is the power house that drives the sector.
Without it, Malaysia will be in deep financial trouble. While there could be a slowdown in the first half of 2019 due to uncertainties arising from trade war among others, industry research expects a recovery in 2020 as the world moves into the 5G stage and the proliferation of many new technologies such as autonomous driving, IoT, Industry 4.0, augmented/virtual reality.
On the Penang economic front, the E&E sector contributes at least 300,000 jobs and more than RM1.5 billion in wages per month to drive the Penang economy.
If we have doubt about our capability, just look at the high value added, knowledge base products manufactured by the MNCs using local talents.
In addition, we have been seeing an increasing number of MNCs with manufacturing footprint in Penang also choose to operate their global business centres (GBS) here, suggesting that Penang is versatile in terms of ecosystem and talents.