Johor businesses seek automation, technology adoption and higher wages

(May 1): Johor state needs to go all-in on increasing automation rates, adopting new technology and raising wages to take advantage of the Johor-Singapore Special Economic Zone (JS-SEZ) , said Liu Chingtong, Vice Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry.

There is little point in Malaysian companies complaining about losing workers to Singapore. Instead, local companies should create better-paying, higher-quality jobs for Malaysian workers, he said in a Facebook post on Wednesday.

Liew, who is also the Iskandar Putri MP, said the JS-SEZ is part of the federal government’s efforts to create a new development impetus for Johor.

“Johor is at the forefront of Malaysia’s national economic development. The world’s attention has shifted to Southeast Asia, and Malaysia has become the cornerstone of Southeast Asia.

“Johor is a developing second economic capital within Malaysia, along with Osaka in Japan, Melbourne in Australia and Busan in South Korea,” he said.

But he said investment alone was not enough and efforts needed to be scaled up to improve wages, productivity and technology adoption.

“The investment will come because we want to create better jobs with better wages and create stronger Malaysian business and industrial capabilities, both domestically and internationally,” he said.

He said the country generally needs to break out of the vicious cycle of low wages, low productivity and low technology adoption.

“Rather, we should ride a virtuous cycle of higher wages, higher productivity, and faster adoption of technology,” he added.

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