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Lim Guan Eng is the most stupid CM in Penang's history

A huge manufacturing project costing USD 3 billion will not appear in Penang overnight and the needs of 1000 E & E engineers will be in staggering basis.

Penang state government has at least two years grace period to drive an international talent recruitment campaign.

I will find 1000 E&E engineers for LGE if the company is willing to pay them 75% of Singapore-grade salary. Many Malaysians in overseas are happy to return home with this competitive salary scheme.

Instead of saying no, LGE should be more resourceful to help foreign investors. Many Malaysians are willing to help him if he is bold enough to take such challenge to make impossible to possible. This courage separates a great leader from a bunch of “politikus” in Bolehland.

What country in the Asia can promise you 1000 E &E engineers with at least three years experience on the spot? The answer is none.

LGE is a totally hopeless CM after he rejected 3 billion investment for no good reason.

Another daylight lie from his “machai”, did LGE bring in 10.2 billion in 2008? He was just installed as a CM in March 2008 and his seat was not yet warmed up on that year. Penang second bridge project is due to LGE’s effort?

As usual his machai tried to shift the blame to KSK and BN for LGE’s own blunder.

I challenge LGE to list down items by items for his contributions in attracting investment to Penang after he sworn in as a CM.

We need data and facts, not the political cheap shots from BN and PR.

Penang Govt did not want to overcommit

AMAZINGLY, Calvin Sankaran continues with his usual trademark of attacking the Penang Pakatan State Government through his letter “Poor leadership is making Penang poorer.”

Under the new leadership of the Chief Minister of Penang Lim Guan Eng, it is clear that this new Government focuses on what is important for the people and has exercised lots of tolerance in its administration. Recently, I had the opportunity to pass by the State Assembly and was shocked that the Opposition came in full force to protest against the Chief Minister.

I managed to stop my car and witnessed several Barisan leaders demonstrating illegally outside the gates of the state assembly.

To my surprise, these are the very leaders that Calvin Sankaran has great admiration for in terms of governance. It is very clear that his assessment has gone down the tubes when it comes to good governance.

Let it be known that Penang’s graceful decline has been seen since 2004, and if the previous Government has done anything constructive, why are we seeing the decline from a lack of focus and accountability from the previous Government?

I read that an investor from one of the world’s leading test and measurement companies said they chose Penang because they felt they had the support of the Chief Minister and his administration. Isn’t that a strong endorsement of investors continuing to have faith in this Government?

The Chief Minister has never turned away any investment other than not agreeing to commit on the availability of 1,000 skilled electrical and electronics engineers. I do not see this as a way to turn away any investment other than avoiding the typical BN attitude of overcommitting and overpromising.

It is important that the writer focus on what is lacking in this country rather than pressing on the concept of “Semua Boleh” when it comes to foreign investments. What Calvin has failed to understand is the close fraternity of investors.

I suspect that Calvin has no intention of ever recognising that the RM10.2bil in foreign investments made in 2008 were under the efforts of the new Pakatan Government. I strongly suggest that he speak to the many hardworking engineers around the FTZ area and understand the challenges of being an engineer, especially in the electronics and electrical industries.



Penang’s FDI free fall due to poor leadership

Calvin Sankaran

Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng’s recent admission of turning down of an FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) worth US$3 billion due to his inability to guarantee the prospective investor 1,000 engineers is a shocking case of poor decision-making and incompetence that unfortunately has become the hallmark of the DAP-led Penang state government in the last 18 months.

In all my more than two decades of working experience in the high-tech manufacturing industry around the world, I have never seen a single instance where a state or country turned down a US$3 billion high-tech investment for such a reason.

Any other country or state would have spared no effort to fulfill the investor’s every need and requirement in order to secure an investment of such importance and magnitude. What is even more alarming is the chief minister’s lack of knowledge of the industry as well as the capabilities and resources available within his own state.

It is hard to comprehend how Guan Eng can allow such a once-in-a-life-time opportunity to slip away as he had numerous options to find the required number of engineers. It is inexcusable that the CM is ignorant of the fact that Penang-based companies like Intel, Altera, Renesas, AMD, Spansion, Osram, Bosch, Lumiled, Agilent, Motorola and many others employ tens of thousands of engineers. In fact, many of these companies have made Penang as their global Research and Development (R & D) centres.

Firstly, local and foreign universities produce Electrical and Electronics (E & E) engineers by the thousands.

Secondly, several thousand Penang (and Malaysian) engineers work overseas in countries like Singapore, Taiwan and the US. Many of these engineers would jump at the chance to return home and contribute to the national development and be nearer to their families and friends.

Thirdly, Guan Eng could have followed the example of some high-tech companies (for example, Siltera, Infineon, etc) by recruiting highly specialised engineers from foreign countries as an interim measure until local replacements could be found. A more competent CM would have been aware that countries such as the Philippines and India produce and export English-educated engineers who could be hired in large quantities and at an affordable cost.

Another source of technical resource are retired Japanese engineers, whom the Korean firms have used in the past with stunning effect to bridge the technological gap with their more advanced rivals in high-tech industries.

Fourthly, Guan Eng could have approached the Human Resources Ministry, public and private universities, professional bodies or even other Pakatan Rakyat-ruled states for their assistance in acquiring the necessary engineering resources.

Unfortunately, the Penang CM undertook none of the above-mentioned actions and instead he chose to go the press and lament about the loss and as usual tried to shift the blame onto his political nemeses.

Despite alleged shortcomings, the previous administration under Koh Tsu Khoon did a remarkable job in attracting high-tech FDI, transforming the state from a low-cost assembly center to a high-tech, high value-added design and manufacturing hub.

Tragically, instead of building upon the excellent foundation laid down by his predecessor, Lim Guan Eng appears to have done irreparable damage to the competitiveness of the state by poor decision-making and mismanagement in the last 18 months.

Guan Eng has been lucky that Koh’s good work has resulted in a record-breaking RM10.2 billion in FDI for the year 2008. However, as I had correctly predicted, FDI for 2009 had dried up and the result for 2010 likely be gloomier still. Other states like Johor, Perak, Sarawak and even Selangor have done far better and left Penang way behind.

Guan Eng is without doubt the state leader who had made the most number of foreign visits to solicit for FDI. Sadly, he also holds the unwanted distinction of being the least productive as well. For none of these trips seems to have produced any result as we have yet to see a single significant FDI project won solely through the efforts of the new CM.

The reason is not hard to fathom – the state agencies entrusted to bring in FDI are filled with political appointees with little experience or capabilities. Most of these officials seem to be more preoccupied with politics than investment-related tasks.

In the past Guan Eng and DAP had often bitterly complained about the ‘brain drain’ of Malaysian professionals and skilled workers to other countries due to the lack of opportunities at home. However, in this case, Lim and his DAP themselves are guilty of contributing to the ‘brain drain’ by squandering such a golden opportunity.

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Scott says:

Lim Guan Eng is merely a power crazed, ignorant, arrogant and finger pointing fool. I know too many bad things about him that the public do not know about. He is a genuine hypocrite.

Johnny says:

If Lim Guan Eng and his team go to foreign land for investment trip, IT IS NOT A WASTE. IT IS BENEFIT. 🙂

Is it necessary for LGE and his team go to Philippines just for Business Process Outsourcing (BPO)!!…

Going there at the end of the year, i am wondering whether ‘C’ level are available to entertain him.heheheh…Its just another MAKAN ANGIN.

BPO companies ‘belambak’ at Cyberjaya, TPM KL, etc etc. Maybe it is not glamour by visiting those company in KL. Oh ya…Pinoy lady is more beautiful..heheeh..

Lim Guan Eng..dia saja betul..orang lain semua salah…walaupun suara dia …:)…that is LGE..i am agreed the most stupid CM in Penang history

Penangnite says:

I think it’s foolish to think about it this way. There are so many good than bad that he has done. If you’re so smart your already the CM unfortunately you’re not. So let it be and channel your complaint to the right source rather than rattling blindly.

nkkhoo says:

You imply all Penangites are stupid because no one except LGE is CM.

I have many skills LGE don’t have, and he also have skills I don’t have.

I do not need to tell you and make it public on how often I communicate with LGE to give him constructive ideas.


PENANG TOP IN MALAYSIA’S FDI INVESTMENT WITH RECORD 12.2 BILLION, AS PER REPORTED IN MIDA WEBSITE, NEWS AS PER BELOW. WELL DONE LGE,cntnt01,detail,0&cntnt01articleid=1087&cntnt01origid=107&cntnt01returnid=107

nkkhoo says:

LGE should thank we rakyat bashed him hard in year 2009 for him to wake up. I hope Penang FDI will not dive down to bottom in year 2011.

Simple Simon says:

Dear Khoo,

A genuine Multinational will not ask for such guarantee because they will have the resource, experience and capability to organise their workforce.

Basically in Simple Simon Arithematic :
Revenue – Cost = Good Profit is the reason why investor will be attracted to locate or relocate in another country.

75% of salary paid for equivalent post as that in Singapore together with the attending employees welfare package will jack up the cost. So if you are the investor will you opt for that ?

Maybe LGE is far sighted and as such he would not be so irresponsible as to commit to such impossible demand and leave a legacy of questionable decision to whoever who takes over as CM, be it from BN or PR after GE13.

nkkhoo says:

Let me tell you labor cost is not forbidding factor for high-tech company, IBM and Hitachi joint-venture wafer fab in Shenzhen was shut down several years later. Go find out why?

Taiwanese wafer fabs in China have to employ their own people with much higher salary than in Taiwan to run entire operations.

Why most of the wafer fabs still inside USA and Japan although the labor cost is double or more than labor cost in Singapore and Malaysia?

Capital cost is a major portion of cost equation, equipment utilization rate and product yield are keys to success for any high-tech manufacturing, not the single digit % labor cost.

Do you want to hire poor attitude and incompetent engineers for your billion dollars facility?

See what had happened to wafer fab factory in Sarawak? Instead of hired capable Malaysian engineers, they chose to hire cheaper and low cost Chinese engineers from China.

1Semiconductor Sawarak lost billions as at now and no way to turnaround with their aging and obsolete equipment.

Malaysia taxpayers again have to pay for this screw-up!

nkkhoo says:

Everyone knows LGE is a big mouth person with no tactful skill to handle local politicians and foreign investors.

Only brainless and clueless investor will say China is a cheap place to invest. Shenzhen is more expensive than Batam at about 20 ago years in which my team had convinced a US multinational company to build its 200,000 sq ft magnetic head fabrication plant in Batam. The plant is still running till today under a new Japanese company and the plant is only high-tech electronic plant in Indonesia.

Go conduct a survey to see do high tech companies are willing to pay high pay to skilled workers before you ask such a silly question?

There is NO cheap high skilled technicians and engineers in this world. That was why Singapore implemented high pay policy since 80s to attract high-skilled workers from all over the world.

People like you only see labor cost, but forget to see total costs like utility, transport, corruption, engineer technical and English skills, etc.

Do you know how much labor cost % in a high-tech company? Sure you know nothing.

Do you know Malaysia has the cheaper utility cost in Asia except Brunei? Sure you know nothing.

Do you know many Chinese engineers are unable to discuss line issues with US HQ? Sure you know nothing.

If a foreign investor is so arrogant and wanted to have such 1000 E&E engineers guarantee from LGE, my counter proposal of paying 75% Singapore rate will shut off the investor’s mouth forever.

myke says:

…..I will find 1000 E&E engineers for LGE if the company is willing to pay them 75% of Singapore-grade salary…..

Talk is cheap and easy,think with you head and not ur knee who will ever guaranty such thing. Even the policy makers like BN who decides how public will be educated dare not make such guaranty even though they decides how the country can be run. Otherwise u don’t see students going overseas and not coming back.

And if these giants willing to pay that high price to get these workers why would they come here to invest in a low cost country, they could have gone somewhere else like china where cost is even lower and manpower is much cheaper and availability is ever ready.

admin says:

Hi Jeffrey,

Seem you have tried to drag in PKFZ’s letter of guarantee scandal, a different issue with the manpower guarantee given to investors.

Do you believe Singapore government will give such guarantee to any investors with adequate supply of engineers? In my knowledge, no such guarantee was ever given to any foreign investors.

Did Melaka state government promise SolarTek with manpower guarantee for them to invest billion in Alor Gajah?

I really cannot understand LGE’s reasoning and turn away 3 billion investor by declaring that Penang state government is unable to promise 1000 E&E engineers.

Kulim Silterra had to pay skilled engineers at Singapore rate to attract Malaysians working in Singapore. This is business cost every high-tech company has to pay whether they are in Penang or Shenzhen.

If Penang government is still relying on low cost engineers to attract investment, I will say you will get monkeys (those only know to demo in the street from a racist-based institute!) to work for investors.

I did work for a MNC in Batam, they had to employ 100% foreign managers and 90% engineers from overseas for first few years until local people can take over the jobs.

Surely, BN Federal government can churn out 1000 poor quality E&E graduates for you. Malaysia public universities already falling into second and third class league, I believe foreign investors are more delight to hire graduates from reputable foreign universities provided there is open-door recruitment guarantee from the Federal government.

LGE shall seeking foreign talent open-door recruitment guarantee from the Federal government, not 1000 peanut eating monkey-grade graduates if Penang wanted to transform into a high-tech hub to compete with Singapore, Shenzhen, Shanghai, Taipet, etc.

Singapore and other competitors can tell investors do not go to Penang because LGE was very honestly announced no qualified E&E engineers for them.

If this kind of reasoning given by LGE is not stupid, it shall be a suicidal decision for Penang future.

Jeffrey Chew says:

Khoo – I believe the issue is really interesting and I fully respect your views but I will like to point out a few things:

Lim Guan Eng had urged the Federal government to take urgent steps to train more professionals in short supply, especially as Penang lost a USD 3 billion investment in 2008, because the state government could not guarantee 1,000 electrical and electronic engineers.

Even the multinational electronic companies mentioned by the writer like Intel, Altera, Renesas, AMD, Spansion, Osram, Bosch, Lumiled, Agilent, Motorola are looking for electrical and electronic engineers. Of course, if they are paid at international rates, the companies can hire from overseas. But what these companies are searching for are electrical and electronic engineers at Penang wage scales. Further no multinational company would just recruit electrical and electronic engineers unless they are from established or “acceptable” universities.

Any government with credibility can not give guarantees that it can not deliver as this will not only damage its reputation and trust but may also attract compensatory damages. If the Penang state government guarantees 1,000 electrical and electronic engineers when there is a huge shortage in the market, then this is irresponsible and untrustworthy not only to that investor but other investors as well. Further such letters of guarantees can result in expensive compensatory payments if not fulfilled.

One should not forget that it is the irresponsible granting of such letters of guarantees by the previous Minister of Transport Tan Sri Chan Kong Choy and other officials of Port Klang Transport Authority that caused the RM 12.5 billion Port Klang Free Trade Zone scandal. Penang will not fall into the same trap or scandals of irresponsible granting of letter of guarantees leading to billions of ringgit in possible damages.

Jeffrey Chew