Malaysian Gov’t to offer perks for automation

Malaysian Gov't to offer perks for automationKUALA LUMPUR – The Malaysian Government may offer incentives to Malaysian companies that automate their production , according to Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Donald Lim Siang Chai, adding that they are encouraging automation as it is part of innovation.

In response to the wishlist drafted by medical gloves, catheters and condom manufacturers., he said companies should hire more local workers than foreigners) to lower their operations costs.

As it stands, the industry is labour-intensive, employing some 80,000 workers, of which half are foreigners and investing in automation can change this scenario.

Recently, the Malaysian Rubber Glove Manufacturers Association (Margma) had to lower its initial export forecast for the year from RM13 billion to RM11.5 billion as the industry faces labour shortage.

“When we came up with the RM13 billion export forecast, we thought we would be able to hire the required number of foreign workers in tandem with the factory expansions,” said Margma President Lim Kwee Shyan
He said that incentives can help industries including the medical devices to employ more advanced mechanisation and eventually reach full automation. The medical device industry, which comprises rubber glove, catheter and condom, is amongst the country’s top export drivers.

Extended tax breaks can also help maintain the industry’s growth momentum, he added.

Karex Industries Sdn Bhd Executive Director Goh Miah Kiat said condom makers would benefit to another round of government tax incentives, such as pioneer status, for its continued growth.

Malaysia is the world’s top exporter of medical gloves, cathethers and condoms bringin in revenue estimated at RM10 billion a year. (RJA)