Speech by Chief Minister of Penang
At The Opening Ceremony of Power Integrations in Penang, Bayan Lepas, Penang
3 October 2017
It is my pleasure to be present today to celebrate Power Integrations’ opening hub for Asian region in Penang; another landmark growth for this US Silicon Valley-based multinational corporation (MNC) of high-performance electronic components used in high-voltage power-conversion systems.
Today’s launch marks another milestone in continued investments by American high-tech companies in Penang, joining other USA companies which have chosen Penang as their home since more than 4 decades ago. New companies such as Boston Scientific and UST Global, have joined existing US companies like Intel, Broadcom, Jabil, Motorola, Sandisk, HP, Haemonetics and Abbott/St Jude. From 2008-2016, out of the RM59 billion approved investment recorded, RM14 billion or 24% were from US investors, which makes US the largest FDI contributor to the Penang’s economy. Clearly US companies have not left Penang and are here to stay.
The economic transformation towards knowledge-based, innovation-led
Penang’s economy has experienced transformation from the 1980s and 1990s where economic growth was supported by industrialisation to knowledge intensive, innovation-led manufacturing and services in the year 2000 and beyond. The manufacturing world today is no longer about mass manufacturing requiring large factory, repetitive manual processes – but more importantly, the economy has transformed into smart and advanced manufacturing incorporating Big Data Analytics, IoT and Industry 4.0 processes. This is where high value products and services are generated, leading to higher value jobs creation.
I am also proud that in the recently announced Malaysia’s GDP by States, Penang’s GDP growth in 2016 was 5.6%, above the national average of 4.2%. Penang also attracted 1/3 of the total E&E investments into Malaysia. All these reflect on the success of Penang’s economic transformation into a knowledge-based, innovation-led state.
Penang as Power Integrations R&D and Supply Chain Management Hub for Asian Region
The establishment of Power Integrations’ R&D and Supply Chain Management Hub for Asian Region in Penang with investment of RM33 million over the next 5 years with the main activities of research, design, development, testing and supply chain management truly exemplifies the high value economic activity in this digital economy era. Power Integration is well-positioned in their addressable market valued more than USD3 billion where the company’s innovations radically simplify power supplies. By 2018, Power Integration’s centre in Penang is expected to employ more than 35 staff, in the functions of high value jobs of R&D engineering, testing and supply chain management.
Penang is truly the destination of choice for companies such as Power Integration which is offering engineering research, design and development. We have a vibrant and established ecosystem with over 300 multinational corporations and 3,000 highly competent local supply chain vendors to support the ecosystem of the industry. In February this year, the RM63 million Penang Automation Cluster (PAC) was established, making it a first world-class SME precision metal fabrication cluster zone in Malaysia as a one-stop metal parts supply chain hub through collaborative efforts between local large companies (LLCs) and small medium enterprises (SMEs), which will attract attention of multinational corporations (MNCs) into this one-stop metal parts supply chain hub.
To move forward we have to keep up with change with continuous improvement and the only way is through adoption of innovation, invention and ideation (3Is). These are built on the Penang’s DNA on 3T's of Talent, Technology and Tolerance of new ideas:
Talent: Building on our residual intelligence accumulated over 40 years of industrialization, we have a pool of highly skilled and intelligent workers. To ensure the sustainability of our talent pool, STEM teaching and interest is a priority. We have invested RM 68 million in STEM education to make Penang a Centre of Excellence for Science and Technology such as @CAT Penang (Accelerator for Creative, Analytics and Technology), Penang Skill Development Centre (PSDC), Penang Science Cluster (PSC), Karpal Singh Penang Learning Centre (KSPLC), Tech Dome Penang (TDP), and Penang Digital Library (PDL). To us “Data is king, and Talent is the everything”.
Technology: The State will continue to support the tech based companies in Penang by building and improving on the world class infrastructure in Penang to ensure that we remain the Silicon Valley of the East, and an important E&E hub in this region.
Tolerance: We believe passionately in freedom, only in Penang can you enjoy freedom. And freedom works in Penang. Not just of ideas and ideals but also freedom of expression in art and culture as well as the freedom to enjoy equal opportunity to realize your full potential. Penang has the passion for diversity and inclusion. Penang’s relentless pursuit of excellence based on the principles of “Competency, Accountability and Transparency” (CAT), core of our good governance, guarantees the spirit of Tolerance in Penang.
The decision by Power Integration to set up in Penang once again demonstrates the success of Penang as an attractive destination for investments.