Speech by Chief Minister of Penang
At The Official Opening of SAM Precision Engineering (M) Sdn Bhd
21 February 2019
Penang Science Park, Penang
YB Datuk Ignatius Darell Leiking
Minister of International Trade & Industry
Mr Philip Yeo
Chairman of SAM
Mr Tan Kai Hoe
Chairman of SAM EE
Board of Directors of Singapore Aerospace Manufacturing Pte Ltd (SAM)
Board of Directors of SAM Engineering & Equipment Berhad (SAM EE)
Dato’ Loo Lee Lian
CEO of InvestPenang
Members of the media
Ladies and gentlemen
I am pleased to be present today at the official opening ceremony of SAM Precision Engineering (M) Sdn Bhd, here in Penang Science Park. We are proud to join in congratulating SAM Engineering & Equipment Berhad (SAMEE), among the most notable players in the aerospace manufacturing industry in Penang and Malaysia, in this significant milestone of your company.
Penang – destination of choice for investors
Penang continues to maintain our robust economic growth. The manufacturing and services sectors are the twin engines of growth in Penang. In 2017, the manufacturing sector grew by 5.7% year-on-year. From January-September 2018, Penang recorded MIDA approved manufacturing investments of RM3.8 billion despite growing global macroeconomic challenges of trade war and rising protectionism. While Penang’s strong investment and economic vibrancy was built on the base as E&E and semiconductor hub, which BBC named Penang as a regional hardware manufacturing hub and Asia’s next Silicon Valley, Penang’s diversification into fast growing sectors such as avionics and medical devices have continued to strengthen Penang’s value proposition to investors. Singapore investors are among the top five largest inbound FDI countries for Penang, and SAMEE’s continued investments in Penang continue to strengthen the flow of investments.
SAM’s significant aerospace manufacturing in Penang
We are excited with SAMEE’s latest facility in Bukit Minyak is operated by SAM Precision (M) Sdn Bhd, a wholly owned subsidiary. I was informed that this 145,000 sq. ft. facility with investment value of RM140 million produces major nacelle structures for 2 Airbus aircraft, namely the A320neo with GTF engines and the A350 Family. The A320neo is the bestselling aircraft for Airbus, with annual delivery planned to increase to 480 aircraft by 2020. Meanwhile, the A350 is an important wide body aircraft for Airbus. This aircraft is fitted with the latest aerospace technologies that are light weight, low noise level, fuel efficient and its ultra-long-range version has the ability to reach up to 9,700 nautical miles.
SAMEE’s major aerospace customers are aero-engine Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) such as GE Aviation, Safran Aircraft Engine, and Tier-One Integrators such as UTC Aerospace Systems. This also shows that Penang is involved in the global supply chain of the aerospace manufacturing industry.
Based on SAMEE’s Annual Report last year, the company invested RM134.5m in FY2018, of which RM113.7m was for the Aerospace business. The Group ended the year with a healthy projected order book of RM3.1 billion. More importantly, aerospace manufacturing which SAMEE is in, is also an important economic and investment agenda for Malaysia. YAB Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, Prime Minister, commented that Malaysia needs more aerospace hubs to support the development of Malaysia’s aerospace industry, which is being identified as one of the sub-sectors to focus in the second half of 11th Malaysia Plan 2016-2020. Penang’s involvement in aerospace manufacturing is also synergistic with Penang2030 action plan to uplift our people towards higher income, higher value jobs.
I am delighted to note that our local talents are beneficiaries of SAMEE’s growth as well, with SAMEE spending approximately RM1.3mil annually to train its employees to equip them with necessary technical and soft skills. SAMEE’s engineers are sent overseas for on-the-job training and for engineering collaborations with its counterparts in Singapore and China. These initiatives will help to sharpen the engineers’ technical skills and will create a wider pool of highly skilled engineers in Malaysia.
This is in line with Penang’s focus - to place our strong emphasis in developing our talents. We understand that our pool of skilled and qualified talents remains a large competitive advantage in making Penang as a destination of choice for investors. As part of the State’s effort in retaining talents, the Penang Future Foundation awards merit-based scholarships to Malaysian undergraduates in local public as well as private universities studying in designated courses identified by the industry and services sectors. Upon completion of their studies, scholars would only be required to work in Penang in any company or agencies of their choice.
In our efforts to partake in the Industrial 4.0 revolution, revolving around interaction of machines, cloud computing and Internet of Things, the State has also established the Penang STEM Sdn Bhd. as the umbrella organization consisting of @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). It is a coherent and synergistic strategy to spearhead STEM, in line with our plan to establish Penang as the Centre of Excellence (CoE) for Science and Technology.
In closing, I wish to once again congratulate SAM Precision Engineering (M) Sdn Bhd on your official opening here at Penang Science Park. Penang is proud to have over 45 years of cumulative industrial intelligence, and host to many MNCs in growing sectors of aerospace manufacturing, E&E and medical devices. State agencies such as InvestPenang and Penang Development Corporation will continue to facilitate and support the need of investors in Penang.