Malaysia needs resilient semiconductor supply chain

by FAYYADH JAAFAR /graphic by TMR

IT IS absolutely necessary for Malaysia to have a more resilient and flexible semiconductor supply chain to have robust and sustainable growth.

International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali said this is vital as the electrical and electronics (E&E) industry has become an important pillar of the nation’s economy.

“Our strategic thrust is to create further value for SMEs, generate multiplier effects, and most importantly, foster and strengthen the infrastructure and ecosystem. Hence, a more resilient and flexible semiconductor supply chain is absolutely necessary for us to navigate a course of robust and sustainable growth.”

He said this in his speech at the launch of “Silicon Malaysia” roadmap yesterday, a joint effort between Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) and the Malaysia Semiconductor Industry Association (MSIA) which aims to promote the country’s semiconductor industry to the rest of the world.

The launch of the “Silicon Malaysia” map was held in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of the E&E industry in Malaysia.

“Last year, E&E exports were RM456 billion, 37% of Malaysia’s total exports. The growth from 1972 to 2022 is a compounded annual growth rate of 16%.”

“This is equivalent to Malaysia’s E&E exports doubling every five years,” Azmin added.

He shared that his trade and investment mission to the US was successful in attracting RM16.52 billion worth of investments, including from manufacturing giants such as Texas Instruments and AMD, worth RM7.2 billion, which will provide 4,000 job opportunities.

Meanwhile, MSIA president Datuk Seri Wong Siew Hai applauded the E&E industry for their perseverance, work ethics, and Malaysia Boleh “can-do” mindset and drive, which have been instrumental in making Malaysia a global player in the semiconductor and electronics industry.

“My wish is for all stakeholders to continue to innovate and for the industry to achieve new heights.”

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Economy) Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed shared that the E&E industry, which is one of the few key industries in Malaysia with a global competitive edge, is a catalytic sector that cuts across various industries and has been a major contributor to the manufacturing sector.

He added that it has been identified as one of the high-impact industries in the Twelfth Malaysia Plan, 2021–2025, to increase its contribution to the economy, create high-paying jobs and boost export earnings.

Malaysian Investment Development Authority (Mida) CEO Datuk Arham Abdul Rahman said that despite the challenging global economic environment, the E&E industry in Malaysia has remained resilient and continues to contribute to the national economy.

“As we chart the path to endemicity and a new world order is forming, we must seize every opportunity. Mida looks forward to forging a deeper and strategic relationship with MSIA to better understand what more can be done to create a vibrant E&E ecosystem that will help steer Malaysia into a new future,” he said.

During the event, awards were presented to companies celebrating 50 years in Malaysia, including Infineon Technologies, Motorola Solutions Malaysia, TF-AMD, Osram Opto Semiconductors, Intel Malaysia, STMicroelectronics, Broadcom, Renesas Malaysia, Amkor Technology, Carsem, Keysight Technologies, Agilent Technologies, and Robert Bosch. Two special awards were also given to Western Digital (WD) and IBM Malaysia.

Additionally, two special awards were also given to WD and IBM Malaysia. The first award was given to WD’s factory at Batu Kawan, Penang, Malaysia for being designated as the first in Asia Sustainability Lighthouse, and the first in Malaysia Advanced 41R Lighthouse by the World Economic Forum (WEF).

The second award was for IBM for celebrating 61 years in Malaysia.