Mass layoffs threaten M'sian electronics sector

The electronics sector may see mass retrenchments in Malaysia if the sluggish economic conditions continue, according to the Malaysia Institute of Economic Research (MIER).

KUALA LUMPUR--The electronics sector may see mass retrenchments in Malaysia if the sluggish economic conditions continue, according to the Malaysia Institute of Economic Research (MIER).

"We think it's quite a serious one. The electrical and electronics industries are the ones that are the worst affected by the current slowdown. There is even news about current companies packing up and leaving," its executive director Dr Mohamed Ariff said.

He was quoted by Malaysiakini as saying that there is still no indication of a recovery in the US electronic sector. Dr Mohamed was speaking to reporters after MIER's annual economic briefing on Tuesday.

He said the industry may only recover by the third or fourth quarter of next year based on the current market situation, and if that is the case, massive retrenchment may be in the cards.

Dr Mohamed said such a lay off is "likely to be serious" and that the electronic sector is " actually shrinking more than what we thought it would."

Two weeks ago, Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) president Zainal Rampak was reported as saying that 90,000 workers from the electrical and electronics sector may be retrenched by year-end.

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