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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










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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