Thursday 30 May 2024
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GEORGE TOWN (Sept 29): Penang government says the latest retrenchment exercise at a unit of Penang-based Tek Seng Holdings Bhd was due to the company's redundancy caused by unmet business forecast, and is not reflective of the state's employment climate.

InvestPenang general manager Loo Lee Lian said in a statement today that the agency has been informed of the reason for the 180-staff retrenchment by TS Solartech Sdn Bhd, Tek Seng's solar cell and module manufacturer based in Penang Science Park.

“TS Solartech recently announced the retrenchment of 180 operation staff recently hired on contract, who were on probation employment, and this is out of a total of 400 hired during that period. The affected staff were also offered alternative employment in another factory of the group,” she shared.

InvestPenang stands for Invest-in-Penang Bhd.

Loo asserted that the retrenchment is a management exercise that does not reflect employment climate in the state nor the industry.

She cited a report by analytics firm, IHS Markit, which had noted that the global photovoltaic (PV) module shipments would exceed 2015's shipments by 10%, with revenue forecast to hit US$41.9 billon.

“Two other major solar cells and modules manufacturers in Penang are not only unaffected, but are actually in expansion mode. This expansion by a solar company will be announced soon,” she said.

Loo also said job creation remains a primary focus of InvestPenang, in attracting new investments and re-investments.

“The restructuring exercise of companies closing down and opening up is a normal phase of the manufacturing industry, in line with technological advances and changing market conditions.  

“There will be retrenchments and new hirings, but the net effect will still be positive this year, in terms of job opportunities for Penang,” she said.
Loo pointed out that new job opportunities are still being created in the manufacturing/industry sector, as well as the growing global business services sector in Penang.

“In the interim, those affected by job displacement can contact the Penang Career Assistance and Talent Centre at for assistance to find new job opportunities.

“Penang still requires more workers, at least 20,000, in line with the state recording one of the lowest unemployment rate in the country of 1.5%,” Loo concluded.

Since news broke of the retrenchment exercise on Sept 27, Tek Seng’s share price has dropped by 19% to close at RM1.04 yesterday.

Today, Tek Seng's shares have continued declining, hitting as low as 99 sen, after a 4.8% retreat, before regaining some losses.

As at 4.28 p.m., it was down 2 sen or 1.92% at RM1.02, valuing it at RM353.5 million.

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