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Feb 5, 2009

1,000 More Lose Jobs in Penang, Malaysia

THE new year has seen more than 1,000 people in Penang lose their jobs.

From the 1,313 people who lost their jobs in January, 522 were foreign workers.

These figures compare with the 3,332 people who were let go in 2008, Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said yesterday.

Citing statistics released by the State Manpower Department, he said a total of 173 locals were part of a voluntary separation scheme (VSS) offered by four companies last year.

"In January this year, 17 locals participated in a VSS which was offered by one Penang-based firm," he told reporters at his office at Kompleks Tun Abdul Razak in Georgetown.

From the 3,332 people who lost their jobs last year, only 81 were foreigners.

Lim said the job losses in 2008 involved 129 firms, the bulk of them comprising local companies in the manufacturing sector.

"Thirty two employers in Penang have parted ways with their employees in January this year," he added.

Industry sources say that only 20 per cent of the 32 employers who either instituted the voluntary retrenchment exercises or let their workers go were made up of multinational corporations operating in the state.

Given the number of retrenched workers in Penang and the rest of the country, Lim stressed on the importance for the government to roll out the second economic stimulus package soon.

"The stimulus plan must be quickly released and the current amount of RM7 billion should be increased to RM50 billion," he added, saying that he will convey the state government's concerns on the economy to Second Finance Minister Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop when the two meet in Putrajaya today.

Source : iStockAnalyst
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