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Location: Penang, Malaysia

February 15, 2008

Big news: Intel is leaving Penang

The Malaysian Chinese newspapers founded by Dr. Sun Yat Sen on Dec 20, 1910, the Kwong Wah Yit Poh (光华日报) reported that Intel is on its way of leaving Penang Island. Here is the link, http://www.kwongwah.com.my/news/2008/02/15/133.html. Personally, I am skeptical on such report, most likely a political propaganda for the upcoming General Election. On the other hand, Penang, and Malaysia in general is losing its advantages compare to China, Vietnam, India, Brazil, and Eastern Europe.

英特尔裁员已获证实 不久或撤资槟州

二零零八年二月十五日 晚上七时二十八分

(槟城15日讯)英特尔(Intel)大举裁员已获证实,撤离槟州之日不远矣!

民主行动党新秀黄泉安周五向媒体披露,新海峡时报于2月14日的财经新闻第32版上报导,英特尔迁往居林高科技园区之事已是箭在弦上,届时,将有5000员工受到波及,势必重击槟州经济。针对此事,他特地向其他媒体求证,并也获得一样的答案,故此,他促请许子根在上京前,尽快给予槟州人民一个交代。

他说,不久前英特尔将赛城的研发部关闭,共有250名员工受影响;日前,它们又关闭了设在槟城贵都酒店内的办事处,种种迹象充份显示出英特尔撤离槟扛7b的日子已经不远了。

“这几年来不断有外资撤离槟州,使到州内经济日渐萎缩。我之前曾经公开指出英特尔打算离开槟岛迁至居林,但,吴竟诚州议员却在1月30日向记者表示,我只是在信口开河,英特尔是不会离开槟城的。无论如何,事实胜于雄辩,现在英特尔离开在即,州政府将会怎样处理实在值得我们忧心。”

黄泉安说,槟城的经济从高处跌倒谷底。之前我们输给新加坡,现在又输给吉打,竞争力节节败退,叫槟城人情何以堪?

他继续透露,州政府告诉人民,槟城的经济正在从劳力密集的工业转型至高科技产业,可是,事实上果真如此?

“据悉,英特尔打算在中国大连开新厂制造65纳米的晶片,这个技术被认为是目前量产过程中采用的最先进技术之一。相对的,槟城厂目前生产的却是300毫米晶片,技术足足落差了10年。由此看来,外资不是在槟城将产业转型,而是撤离东方花园!”

“如果要选民再投国阵一票,许子根是否能够保证5年内不再会有外商撤资?同时国阵政府能不能确保槟州工业发展不会是惠及外劳就业,而是真正让国内智慧型员工受惠?”

黄泉安认为,国阵已黔驴技穷,人民一定要看清事实的真相,不能再将槟州所托非人,否则未来槟城的前景将会暗淡无光,在国内外都无法与人竞争。

If you can't read Chinese, you can try Google translation here but don't expect it to be very accurate. Anyway, here is my translation:

Intel confirmed layoff or even withdrawing investment from Penang

February 15, 2008, 7:28 PM

(Penang, on the 15th) - Intel massive layoffs has been confirmed, the day of withdrawing from Penang is not far... sigh!

The Democratic Action Party newcomer, Jeff Ooi, disclosed to the media on Friday that on February 14th, it was reported by News Straits Times, in page 32 of the Business Times that Intel is getting ready to move to Kulim Hi-Tech Park. By then, 5000 employees will be affected, thus affecting the economy of Penang. On this mattter, he specifically sought confirmation from other media, and he got the same answer. Therefore, he urged Koh Tsu Koon to provide an explanation to the people of Penang before he takes up a position at the federal government level.

He said, not long ago, Intel closed the research and development center in Cyberjaya and 250 employees were affected. Recently, Intel closed its office inside the Penang Equatorial Hotel. All these indications show that the day when Intel is leaving Penang is near.

"Over the past few years, there had been many foreign investments withdrawal from Penang, causing the state economy to shrink. He mentioned publicly before that Intel will leave Penang and move to Kulim. However, on January 30th, State Assemblyman, Goh Kheng Sneah told reporters that I was talking nonsense. Intel will not leave Penang. Anyway, facts speak louder than words, Intel will leave soon. The way Penang state government handling this matter is a concern to us."

Jeff Ooi said, the economy of Penang is dropping from the top to the lowest. We lost to Singapore before, and we are losing to Kedah now. We are losing our competitiveness. He urged Penang people to ponder on such change.

He mentioned that the state government told the people that Penang economy is transforming from labour-intensive industries to high-tech industries, but is this the reality?

"I knew that Intel will open a factory in Dalian, China to manufacture the 65 nanometer chip. This is one of the most advanced technology at this moment. Penang is currently producing 300 milimeter chip. This technology is 10 years behind. Looking at the current situation, foreign investment is not transforming to high-tech, but is exiting this Garden of the Orient."

"If they want voters to cast a vote for the National Front, can Koh Tsu Koon guarantee that there will be no withdrawal of foreign investment in 5 years? At the same time, can the National Front government guarantee that the industrial development in Penang is not benefiting foreign labours only, but is actually benefiting local knowledge-based workers?"

Jeff Ooi thinks that the National Front is running out of idea, the people needs to know the truth, and should not simply let Penang to be governed by "anyone". Otherwise, Penang future will be bleak, as she can't compete both within the country and internationally.

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