I wish to clarify my comments yesterday, which reported me stating that there will be no worker retrenchments in Penang, in reference to Malaysian Employers Federation(MEF)’s expectation of 50,000 retrenchments of workers in 2018. This is not correct. What I meant is that any worker retrenchments in Penang will not affect Penang, because there will be more jobs chasing workers than worker chasing jobs. Penang has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the Malaysia at 2%.

There will be worker retrenchments in Penang, when companies close as part of the ordinary course of business. Any worker retrenchments will not affect Penang because more companies will open than close. In fact sustained economic growth in the manufacturing, services and tourism sector will create more employment opportunities until Penang is still expected to face a shortage of around 20,000 workers.

For the first 6 months of 2017, Penang topped the investment charts in Malaysia with RM7.7 billion and 8,162 new jobs. The tourism sector saw hotel occupancy rate increase by 6%, with the Penang International Airport recording an increase in passenger load of around 8% in 2017.

LIM GUAN ENG