Press Digest - Pen-drive man laments shortage of local talent

29 Jul 2014 / 20:04 H.

    THE inventor of the pen-drive, Pua Khein Seng, laments the shortage of talent in Malaysia.
    The chief executive officer of Taiwan-based Phison Electronics Corp, which invested US$2 million (RM6.3 million) in Penang two years ago to produce pen drives, admitted the investment is falling short of target and facing a number of problems, chief among them the serious shortage of suitable talent.
    Sekinchan-born Pua, who received his tertiary education in Taiwan, said flaws in the Malaysian education system are hindering the country from churning out talent that meets market requirements.
    He cited the example of graduates in electronics-related courses here not adequately equipped to join the pool of human resource needed to push the local electronics industry forward.
    “In Taiwan, Phison has more than 400 engineers, all graduates from universities there. But I am unable to make use of local (Malaysian) graduates, (as) they don’t have the ability to work independently. I see this as a serious problem,” Pua told Nanyang Siang Pau in an interview.
    Pua said he invested in Penang with the intention to transfer Phison’s technology to Malaysia but this is not progressing as fast as he expected.
    Pua had, in a number of interviews, stressed that had he not studied in Taiwan, he would not have succeeded in setting up his business.
    He attributed the growth of Phison to the fair policies of the Taiwanese government and the republic’s complete electronics industry supply chain.
    In Malaysia, he said, the company is facing more problems than anticipated.
    He said there are many fields in Taiwan that Malaysia can learn from apart from the electronics industry, notably the agricultural industry which looks promising for young Malaysians wishing to venture into business.
    “Apart from the problem with government policies, I feel that some small- and medium-sized industries are doing quite well. But overall, the business mindset (here) still lags (behind Taiwan). This is food for thought.”
    Pua, 37, who set up Phison 10 years ago, ranks among the youngest entrepreneurs in Taiwan.
    The public-listed company is now worth NT$30 billion (RM3.2 billion).
    Despite the various problems he faced, he said he has no intention to withdraw his investment from Penang.
    He said if he cannot get the talent he needs in Malaysia, he has no choice but to import it from Taiwan.

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