Monday, 26 February 2018

(The Star) ‘Perak needs more factories’

IPOH: Perak needs to have more high-value factories that can help provide job opportunities to youths and graduates from the state, says Datuk Seri Ong Ka Chuan.

The Second International Trade and Industry Minister said the state needs to attract more investors that manufacture petro-chemical and electrical and electronic products.

“If these factories are available, there will be job opportunities for locals so they need not go to Kuala Lumpur or elsewhere to work.

“I have already briefed the Perak Mentri Besar that these investors should be given attention if they were to come here.

“With these high-value factories, the locals, especially the youths, will stay back,” Ong told reporters after attending a Chinese New Year open house hosted by Perak Hock Kean Kong Hoey here yesterday.

To attract these investors, Ong said the Perak government should consider having better facilities.

“Petro-chemical products, along with electrical and electronic products, are the two major exports for the country. The state could benefit with more of such factories here.

“As for petro-chemical products, I am aware that we do not have the necessary raw materials here, but we could have better port facilities and set up a depot to store liquefied natural gas (LNG),” he added.

“There are plenty of trade ships that ply the Straits of Malacca. We could get them to come in and factories could get the LNG from the depot to be processed into petro-chemical products,” he added.

Ong also said the cost of living in Kuala Lumpur was high and it was time the Government considered other areas outside of the metropolitan city to be developed.

“Kuala Lumpur is already congested and saturated. Tanjung Malim, with its development plans for a Youth City, Automobile City and an education hub, is one area that has lots of potential and should be developed,” he said.

Ong also said he planned to revive a road project connecting Falim, Pasir Puteh and the Sultan Azlan Shah Airport.

He said Ipoh was already having congestion woes as a lot of areas in the city were not well connected.