The Penang state government is not as irresponsible as Gerakan in making empty promises

Press Release By Jeffrey Chew Special Investment Officer To Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng In George Town On 15.11.2009:

The Penang state government is not as irresponsible as Gerakan in making empty promises that would jeorpardise our credibility and may even incur financial losses to compensate the investor for guarantees not fulfilled.

Penang Gerakan Chairman Dato Dr Teng Hock Nan should prove his sincerity in wanting to co-operate with the state government by telling the Federal government to stop discriminating against Penang people and refusing to give equal treatment as other states in terms of grants, taxes or airport charges.

Instead he continues to blame the Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng for not daring to guarantee 1,000 electrical and electronic and causing Penang to lose out in a USD 3 billion investment last year. Teng had said that the USD 3 billion investment would be helpful as MIDA reported that Penang received RM1.67 billion investment as at the third quarter this year, a number eight times lower as compared to 2008 investment of RM10.15 billion.

Teng is clearly confused and being selective by choosing to rely on MIDA figures when Gerakan had questioned the accuracy of MIDA’s RM 10.2 billion in investments secured by the Pakatan Rakyat state government last year. And Teng deliberately continues to confuse the issue by saying that the USD3 billion investment offer was made this year when it was made in 2008 and not in 2009.

Gerakan can promise first and hope we can fulfil later, which was the reason they were comprehensively rejected by the people of Penang in the 2008 general elections. The Penang state government is not as irresponsible as Gerakan in making empty promises that would jeorpardise our credibility and may even incur financial losses to compensate the investor for guarantees not fulfilled.

Gerakan’s “Hit & Run Tactics

Teng’s tactic of deliberately confusing the USD 3 billion investment issue is part of his “hit and run” tactics. Teng’s “hit and run” tactics can be seen from his failure to prove his claim that the Penang Chief Minister’s PG1 vehicle incurred a maintenance cost of RM 50,000 a month or RM 600,0000 a year, or his failure to defend the dignity of Gerakan by co-operating with Penang UMNO without securing any apology from UMNO for publicly tearing Gerakan President Dr Koh Tsu Koon’s picture. Teng is now running away from explaining his failures by hitting on other issues by confusing the public.

There may not be a shortage of engineers but there is a shortage of electrical and electronic engineers in Malaysia.(see figures below). Malaysian Employers Federation said that there were 60,000 engineers nationwide of all disciplines but is still not enough.

Gerakan and Teng should stop behaving like ostriches in the sand and be in denial syndrome by pretending that there is no shortage of electrical and electronic engineers. At the Penang Career Assisted Training(CAT) centers for unemployed and retrenched workers, there was not a single electrical and electronic engineer registered.

Our Penang CAT centre is willing to find a job for any electrical and electronic engineer unemployed in Penang. The Federal government should make strenuous efforts to overcome this shortage by training new E&E engineers and making more attractive offers to attract back the many E&E engineers working overseas.

Clearly, it would be “mad” to guarantee 1,000 electrical and electronic engineers to be paid at Penang salaries scales and not at the international salary scale. Further such guarantee by a state government would pre-suppose compensation for any losses incurred for the inability to provide these electrical and electronic engineers which may be even be as much as the USD 3 billion investment.

JEFFREY CHEW

Malaysia’s pool of engineers

THE following figures were given by various institutions when asked about the number of engineers in Malaysia:

· Institution of Engineers Malaysia: 20,000 active members.

· Board of Engineers Malaysia: 13,000 registered members. About 3,250, or 25 per cent, are from the electrical and electronic disciplines.

· Malaysian American Electronics Industry, a committee under the American Chamber of Commerce Malaysia: 7,000 engineers employed by its members.

· Malaysian Employers Federation: 60,000 engineers nationwide of all disciplines. It says the number is not enough.

· The total membership of the Institute Engineers Malaysia in Penang is 1,134 with 503 civil engineers, 250 mechanical engineers and 250 electrical and electronic engineers with the remainder from other disciplines.

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