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Score manpower needs dropped by 50%?

 | May 16, 2012

Why are there three different sets of figures concerning the projected manpower requirements of Sarawak Corridor for Renewable Energy?

KUCHING: An opposition assemblyman has poured scorn on the multi-billion ringgit Sarawak Corridor for Renewal Energy (Score) describing it as a failing project.

“Something is wrong with the project which is supposed to bring Sarawak’s economy to a higher level,” said Kota Sentosa assemblyman Chong Chieng Jen.

Debating the amendments to the Regional Corridors Development Authorities (Recoda) Ordinance, 2006, Chong said that the project has failed based on three sets of different figures concerning the projection of manpower requirements.

According to the official website of Score, the demand for skilled labour was 200,000 jobs by the year 2012 and 397,000 by 2015. The other figures on labour needs were 570,000 by 2020, 719,000 by 2025 and 836,000 by 2030.

“The year has passed. Have we achieved the level set-up in the official website of Score? No, we are far from it..,” said Chong.

According to Chong the latest statistics on manpower needs were different from those posted on Score website.

“I received an answer from the chief minister to my questions I asked in the last sitting of the state assembly.

“According to the study of Score manpower requirement for skilled and technical workforce conducted by UNIMAS in the year 2009, the projected creation of jobs for the year 2015 is 145,445.

(While) for the year 2000 there will be 301,033 jobs and for the year 2025 there would be 478,228 jobs. In the 2030, the number of jobs is (to be) 667, 238.

“These answers obviously differ a lot from the projections published in the official website of Score,” he said.

Differing figures

Pointing out the difference in the statistics posted on the Score website and the numbers sent to him, Chong questioned the drop in numbers and the government’s brazeness in declaring that Score will create 2.5 million jobs by 2030.

Citing an example, he said the Score website in 2009 stated that the projected demand for manpower by 2015 is 397,000.

But now a few years later, the projected numbers had reduced to 145,455.

“This is a 50% discount. Now if you drive along roads in Kuching, you notice billboards saying about Score creating 2.5 million jobs by the year 2030. How on earth can we create 2.5 million jobs by 2030?

“So which is the figure? 667,238 new jobs by the year 2030 as stated in the answer or 836, 000 jobs stated in the official website of the Score or 2.5 million jobs as stated in the billboards.

“We want to know which is which? (How) can the figures initially projected in the inception of Score differ so much by 50%?

“One can only conclude that these figures are plugged from the air and have no basis.

“Are we in for a failing project?” he asked and wondered about the purpose of tabling the amendments to Recoda Bill.

Cheap electricity

He noted that since the launching of Score in February 2008, three companies with a total investment of RM2.7 billion are already in operation.

But the number of people employed by these companies was only 780. They compromised 393 Malaysians and 387 foreigners in both engineering and non-engineering works.

He said that these companies are heavy industries which have little job opportunities unlike manual manufacturing industries.

“And the reason why these industries are coming to Sarawak is not because of their confidence in the Sarawak BN Government, but more on the supply of cheap electricity which is subsidised by the people.

“We Sarawakians pay for these electricity. Electricity is the soul of Score. No electricity, no Score,” he said, pointing out that the Bakun dam is selling electricity to these companies at 0.625 sen per KW per hour, while it is selling to Sarawakians at 0.30 sen per KW per hour.


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