The Human Resources Minister Datuk Dr S. Subramaniam should not be in denial mode

Press Statement By Jeffrey Chew Special Investment Officer To The Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng In George Town On 11.11.2009

The Human Resources Minister Datuk Dr S. Subramaniam should not be in denial mode by expressing puzzlement at the shortage of electrical and electronic engineers(E&E) in the country when this shortage is an open secret in the industry. Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng had boldly spoken in Parliament on 26.10.2009 to take pro-active measures to train more E&E engineers to redress this shortage.

Lim also said that Penang lost a USD 3 billion foreign investment when he could not guarantee 1,000 E&E engineers required by the company. The Parliament Hansard on that day clearly proves that Lim had said 1,000 E&E engineers and not just 1,000 engineers as claimed by irresponsible BN leaders who wanted to attack Lim with lies.

For Dr Subramaniam to deny this shortage of E&E engineers in Malaysia by claiming that there were 18,000 engineers registered with its JobsMalaysia portal shows that he had not done his homework and does not appear to know his portfolio. Dr Subramaniam should realise that 18,000 engineers does not mean 18,000 E&E engineers but also include civil, mechanical, materials and other engineering discipline. Just like specialist doctors, there are gynaecologists, cardiologists, dermatologists and oncologists. Clearly Subramaniam is trying to confuse the issue by stating that 18,000 engineers as 18,000 E&E engineers when this is not the case.

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. Assuming that for every registered engineer, there are 3 unregistered engineers in Penang, then the total number of electrical and electronic (E&E) engineers comes to 1,000. To expect the Chief Minister to guarantee 1,000 E&E engineers is a doubling of the number of E&E engineers in Penang. Lim would not jeorpardise the credibility of the Penang state government by promising E&E engineers that Penang does not have.

Similarly Dr Subramaniam should not make himself and Malaysia look ridiculous by implicitly denying that there is a shortage of E&E engineers because there are 18,000 of them. Instead he should act responsibly by snapping out quickly of this denial mode by taking immediate action. Dr Subramaniam must 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.

JEFFREY CHEW

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