Malaysia-China projects will create 10,000 jobs but not all for locals

Chua-Tee-Yong-azizah-jobKUALA LUMPUR: Joint projects with China will create more than 10,000 job opportunities in Malaysia but not all will go to Malaysians.

Responding to a question by Wan Azizah Wan Ismail (PKR-Permatang Pauh) in the Dewan Rakyat today, Deputy International Trade and Industry Minister Chua Tee Yong said that the jobs would be created through the 33 projects that China-based firms are investing in Malaysia.

When Wan Azizah asked him to state if all the 10,000 plus jobs were going to Malaysians, Chua referred to a steel mill project in the Malaysia-China Kuantan Industrial Park (MCKIP) where more than half the jobs will go to locals.

The company, Alliance Steel (M) Sdn Bhd, is a wholly-owned Malaysian subsidiary of China’s Guangxi Beibu Gulf Iron and Steel Investment Co Ltd.

“This project, for example, will create 3,648 job opportunities. An estimated 53% of these jobs will be created specifically for Malaysians,” said Chua.

He explained that job opportunities for Malaysians was one of the requirements for “some” of these projects, especially those which applied for incentives from the government.

Prime Minister Najib Razak had announced last year that Malaysia had entered into 14 agreements and memorandums of understanding with China for businesses with a total value of RM144 billion.

The 14 agreements and memorandums of understanding were for investment, development, the construction of the Melaka Gateway Project, and the proposed purchase of land and development in Bandar Malaysia.

According to Najib, the amount of these deals was the biggest ever recorded in conjunction with his official visit overseas, making it a historic achievement.

But critics have voiced concerns that Malaysia’s interests were being sold to China, in exchange for financial backing.