THE manufacturing sector in Penang has been faring well despite the challenging Covid-19 pandemic.
Northern Corridor Implementation Authority (NCIA) chief executive officer Datuk Seri Jebasingam Issac John lauded the state for its performance, saying that the industry was not much impacted as compared to other industries such as tourism. The tourism industry was said to be the hardest-hit industry during the pandemic period.
“The demand for the semiconductor supply chain is increasing and is expected to grow for years to come.
“Although we have witnessed some retrenchments during the pandemic, the employees have been quickly absorbed by other corporations,” he said.
He gave examples of Inari Amertron Berhad and Jabil Circuit Sdn Bhd which had provided jobs for 2,030 job seekers. The two companies are the key players in the Electrical and Electronics (E&E) industry in the Northern Corridor Economic Region (NCER).
“This is further boosted by NCIA’s commitment in engaging impacted companies. We assist workers who have been retrenched by their companies by providing them with job matching and entrepreneurship opportunities.
“We will continue to help companies in Penang that are affected by the pandemic,” Jebasingam said during the Penang Socio Economic Recovery Consultative Council (PSERCC) meeting today.
He said that 14,487 jobs were expected to be created in NCER, with 4,742 jobs to be created in Penang this year.
The PSERCC was formed last year to identify the state’s current economic issues and challenges during the pandemic.
Jebasingam said that NCIA would work with the Implementation and Coordination Unit Between National Agencies (Laksana) to provide recommendations to enrich recovery initiatives.
“We will also work with the respective state governments.
“NCIA will continuously monitor and analyse the impact of the pandemic on NCER, as well as our recovery plans,” he said.
He added that the small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) were in a ‘critical stage’ and needed assistance.
Malaysian American Electronics Industry (MAEI) committee chairman Datuk Seri Wong Siew Hai said that factory workers should be given the priority to receive the Covid-19 vaccination.
“Most of the Covid-19 cases emerged from factories. I hope that the authorities can consider this aspect and speed up the vaccination process so that the factory workers can be vaccinated,” he said.
InvestPenang director Datuk Seri Lee Kah Choon praised the state for its high employability in the manufacturing sector.
Penang Tourism and Creative Economy Committee chairman Yeoh Soon Hin shared the various efforts which were implemented to spur the tourism industry.
Other issues such as housing, food security, infrastructure and transportation were also brought up during the meeting.
Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow, who chaired the meeting, was pleasantly optimistic with the state’s manufacturing progress.
He also took note of the hotel occupancy rate in Penang which had improved recently.
“We are doing our best to face these challenges and are preparing for the post-pandemic period,” Chow said.
Story by Edmund Lee
Pix by Chan Kok Kuan