Johor must push for higher automation, technology adoption and wages, says deputy Miti minister

JOHOR BARU, May 1 — Johor must push for a higher rate of automation and adoption of new technologies as well as higher wages across the board to capitalise on the Johor-Singapore Special Economic Zone (JS-SEZ), Deputy Investment, Trade and Industry Minister Liew Chin Tong said.

There is not much point complaining that Malaysian firms are losing workers to Singapore. The firms should be creating more quality jobs with better pay for the Malaysian workers, he said in his Facebook posting today.

Liew, who is also the Iskandar Putri Member of Parliament, said JS-SEZ is a major effort by the federal government to create new developmental impetus in Johor by working closely with Singapore.

“Johor is at the forefront of Malaysia’s national economic takeoff. The world has shifted its attention towards South-east Asia and Malaysia is the lynchpin in South-east Asia.

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“Within Malaysia, Johor is the second economic capital in the making, like Osaka to Japan, Melbourne to Australia and Busan to South Korea,” he said.

However, he said investments alone is not enough and efforts must be put in to improve wages, productivity and technology adoption.

“Investments, whether domestic or foreign, are brought in because we want to create better jobs with better pay, and to create stronger Malaysian businesses and industrial capabilities,” he said.

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He said the country, in general, needed to move away from the vicious cycle of low pay, low productivity and low adoption of technology.

“We should instead be in the virtuous cycle of higher wage, higher productivity and higher adoption of technology,” he added. — Bernama

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