Penang still 'Silicon Valley of the East'

27 Oct 2015 / 17:42 H.

    GEORGE TOWN: Reports that Penang is set to lose its "Silicon Valley of the East" title are greatly exaggerated.
    This follows news of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) and rumours of retrenchment and relocation of several multinational companies (MNCs).

    State investment arm Invest Penang director Datuk Lee Kah Choon said there was no mass retrenchment exercise arising from M&As involving some companies which have operations here.

    He said the joint venture between chipmaker Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) and Nantong Fujitsu Microelectronics Co only involved AMD’s manufacturing facilities and pointed out AMD operations in the state were focused on services.

    "The takeover by Sanmina Corp of Motorola Solution’s facility in Bayan Lepas was also for the manufacturing facilities while research and development (R&D) operations for Motorola will continue," he said, adding that hard disk drive maker Western Digital, which recently acquired solid-state drive maker Sandisk, will continue operations as normal.

    He said the operations of information technology services provider Dell in Penang were focused on services and that Dell’s acquisition of data storage conglomerate EMC was in keeping with the times.

    “Investment into Penang is still healthy and good,” he said in a media briefing today to counter speculation of companies relocating and closing down.

    On talk of audio maker Blaupunkt implementing a retrenchment exercise and storage solutions provider HGST Technologies relocating, Lee said such talk was baseless.

    He said he had reached out to the management of both companies regarding the rumours and was told that there was “no such thing”.

    Nonetheless, Lee said communication equipment connector producer Amphenol's Bayan Lepas plant will be phased out as demand for the product made there has decreased but pointed out the company operates two plants in Bukit Minyak on the mainland.

    “On the global view, we want to be competitive enough that any move will have a positive effect for us. On the personal side, we must ensure that we are employable for life,” he added.

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