Friday, January 1, 2010

DUN Sitting (Day Three): ‘Investment in 1st Silicon for long-term benefit’

(Nov 03, 2010)

The investment by the state government to set up 1st Silicon (now X Fab) is for long-term gain, said Deputy Chief Minister and Minister of Industrial Development Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Dr George Chan Hong Nam.

He said the investment on 1st Silicon was justified to spearhead the growth of hi-tech industries in Sarawak.

“It’s just like building roads and other infrastructure. Do we get instant profit from it? No, this also applies to 1st Silicon.

“Without it, Sarawak would not be able to attract foreign investors in hi-tech industries,” Dr Chan told the media on the sidelines of the State Legislative Assembly sitting here yesterday.

Dr Chan was commenting on Meradong assemblywoman Ting Tze Hui’s suspension ‘for misleading the house by accusing the government of spending millions of ringgit without proper substantiation’ on 1st Silicon.

“If we don’t have 1st Silicon to pave the way, do you think other electronic companies will set up their companies here?

“This is because a lot of them do not know anything about Sarawak,” he stressed.

He reiterated that the money invested in X Fab was also to retain the brain ‘within the shore of Sarawak’.

Dr Chan disclosed that currently XFab is employing a few hundred engineers, who are mostly locals.

“We need to start somewhere and spend a lot of money in the initial stage but in the long- term, it will be good for the state. Who would want to come to the state if they have no confidence in us?

“It is not literally wasting money. Sometimes you have to think ahead. Nobody would have known where Sarawak is.

“This is also proof of what we are capable of doing,” he stressed.

Dr Chan, who is also Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) president, reiterated that the house would suspend any opposition members who misled the house.

He said a member of the opposition was also suspended from the house before, for accusing him of buying German Sheppard dogs costing RM70,000 each. “If we don’t rebut their (the opposition) accusations, the people may think that what they said is true,” he said

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