KUALA LUMPUR, June 1 — Hundreds of Malaysians working for Panasonic could soon be jobless if the manufacturing giant Panasonic goes ahead with plans to shutter its factories here.
The Malaysian arm of the Japanese company which is fully named Panasonic Manufacturing Malaysia Bhd (PMMA) is believed to be closing its operations domestically after some management issues which saw its executive director and 15 managers terminated, news portal Malaysiakini reported today.
According to the news portal, the Panasonic Appliances Refrigeration Devices Malaysia Sdn Bhd in Melaka could close by year end, leaving its current 500 Malaysian workers and 95 foreign staff at risk of unemployment.
The news portal also reported that another unit, Panasonic AVC Networks Johor Malaysia Sdn Bhd, is making arrangements to shut down operations before the end of 2023, but it is unclear how many workers will be affected.
The company reportedly laid off 689 Malaysians over the last five years that include outsourced and temporary workers.
The manufacturer also sent home 392 migrant workers even as it created 63 new jobs for Malaysians in 2020.
According to the news portal, PMMA lost two lawsuits alleging that its former suppliers, executive director Chen Ah Huat and employees, defrauded it of millions of ringgit in payment for work that could not be verified as being delivered.
The company began downsizing after the suit, losing 75 more workers from its SA1 kitchen appliances plant, citing labour costs, adopting more automation and realignment by the global Panasonic Group.