PUTRAJAYA, May 29 — Malaysia has a “once in a generation” opportunity to strengthen the electrical and electronics (E&E) industry following the unveiling of the National Semiconductor Strategy (NSS) yesterday.

Investment, Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz said this given the geopolitical tension between the United States (US) and China that has become a tech war, coupled with global supply chain diversification to reduce disruptions and geopolitical risks.

“Many global companies are looking at redesigning their supply chain, moving to more secure and resilient locations to mitigate risks.

“So we must act now, become more resilient and seize the opportunity because failing to do may result in a missed economic advantage that could set us back for years.

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“We already have 50 years of experience, especially in the back-end (outsourced semiconductor assembly and test), and we have to build on our existing strength and capabilities now for both local and international companies to (move) into the frontiers, and stay competitive and innovative in the industry,” said Tengku Zafrul in a media briefing on the NSS here today.

The NSS focuses on high-end value chain opportunities in integrated circuit (IC) designs, high-end manufacturing and equipment-making.

In creating 60,000 engineers under the NSS, private companies must be realistic. They need to attract local talents to stay as the demand for engineers is not limited to the E&E industry, he said.

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Other industries such as financial services, management and consulting firms, among others, are also eyeing the same talent pool.

Companies overseas are also “poaching” talents. Malaysia is not the only country facing a shortage of engineers. It is a global issue, he said.

Malaysia has to be more open and allow high-skilled talented engineers from outside the country to enter while local talents are upscaled and upskilled according to industrial relevance if Malaysia is to become a talent hub, Tengku Zafrul said.

He further said Miti is also finalising incentives with the Human Resources Ministry to attract local talents working abroad to return.

The NSS, announced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim on Tuesday, consists of three main phases, with the industry expected to woo at least RM500 billion of investments in the plan’s first phase in five years. — Bernama