KUALA LUMPUR, May 28 — Malaysia is aspiring to train and upskill 60,000 high-skilled local engineers, in a bid to boost the local semiconductor sector, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said.

In his speech at Semicon South-east Asia here, Anwar said that this is one of the five salient features of Malaysia’s National Semiconductor Strategy (NSS).

He also said that the Malaysian government will allocate at least RM25 billion in fiscal support to operationalise the NSS with targeted incentives, details of which will be announced by the Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry (Miti).

“Technology is evolving rapidly, with adoption rates speeding up exponentially. For example, Netflix took three and a half years to reach a million users, Facebook took 10 months, Instagram took two and a half months, and ChatGPT took just five days. Hence, we need to be agile and adaptable by strengthening our foundations to different contexts and circumstances.

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“We also recognise that reaching the frontier of chip technology is neither easy, nor cheap. The world’s leading chip manufacturer, TSMC in Taiwan, has a capital expenditure budget of US$28 billion (RM131.4 billion) to US$32 billion for 2024. While it will take us time to reach there, we are currently focusing on other parts of the value chain. For instance, electric vehicles (EVs) contain over 3,000 chips, two to five times that of ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) vehicles.

“With the growth of the global EV market, Malaysia could become the key hub to supply power chips to EV cars,” Anwar said.

He added that power chips are key in energy transition and decarbonisation technologies and — through Malaysia’s New Industrial Master Plan 2030 (NIMP 2030) and the National Energy Transition Roadmap (NETR) — Malaysia already has the right policy enablers and incentives for companies wishing to manufacture them here.

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“Ultimately, the NSS is a means for Malaysia to advance and democratise technology for the good of all humanity. To achieve this, we need your support, both from those here today and others beyond this room,” he added.