The Penang government is to send people to Kuching and other parts of Sarawak to hire those losing their jobs as a result of the closure of electronics manufacturer Sanmina-SCI at the Samajaya Industrial Free Zone in Kuching.

More than 800 of the Sanmina employees have had their services terminated in the last few days following the company's intention to close down by the end of next month.

chong chieng jen interview 141108 01"I have contacted Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng who told me that the state is short of manpower in the electronics industry and in the other fields as well.

"We are sorting out the details and an announcement on the recruitment drive will be made next week," Sarawak DAP Secretary Chong Chieng Jen (left) said today

"The Penang government is ready to help the workers.

"They are coming very soon, so there is not much to worry for those who are prepared to work away from home, in Penang," said Chong who is the MP for Bandar Kuching.

He also urged the Sarawak government to play its part so that those who did not wish to take up offers from Penang could be employed locally.

On the retrenchment of the 800 workers, Chong said the company should have notified the employees months before the closing down so that they could be prepared for this.
'Details of closure kept secret'

"Apparently the details of the closure were kept secret and were only made known a few days before the retrenchments began.

"This is absolutely unreasonable and unacceptable," he said.

"This should not be the practice of a foreign company based in Sarawak, leaving the local employees high and dry. This should be a lesson to the state government.

"When attracting direct investment to Sarawak, the government should not just concentrate on statistics that foreign investors provide. It should be mindful of the welfare of the local employees.

"In this case, it was not done because the government did not set conditions, such as giving the employees three months' notice before Sanmina pulls out," Chong said, and he called on the state to provide assistance to those who had lost their jobs.

The DAP leader also chided SUPP leaders who attributed the minimum wage of RM800 introduced by the federal government to be the cause for Sanmina shutting down.

"I think this is a very naïve and irresponsible statement," he said, adding that the state government has been shouting about wanting to make Sarawak a high income state by 2020.

"The BN government has a target to make Sarawak a high income state by 2020, and yet we are not ready to accept a minimum wage of RM800.

That is why I say SUPP leaders who are saying that minimum wage is the cause for Sanmina closing down are irresponsible and ignorant," Chong added.