Selangor Journal
Menteri Besar Dato’ Seri Amirudin Shari (centre) visiting an exhibit during the Semicon Southeast Asia (SEA) 2024 opening ceremony at the Malaysia International Trade and Exhibition Centre in Kuala Lumpur, on May 28, 2024. — Picture by FIKRI YUSOF/SELANGORKINI

Through chip designing, Selangor aims to push Malaysia up semiconductor value chain

By Yasmin Ramlan

KUALA LUMPUR, May 28 — Selangor’s venture into integrated circuit (IC) designing, including the development of Southeast Asia’s biggest IC Design Park in Puchong, aims to elevate Malaysia up the semiconductor industry’s value chain.

Menteri Besar Dato’ Seri Amirudin Shari said now is the best time to push Selangor from just an area of wafer assembly to a hub for designing and intellectual property processes.

He believes the state is well-positioned to achieve this, considering its decades of experience in the electronics and electrical (E&E) industry.

“Selangor’s foray into IC design aims to move Malaysia up the value chain from being just a bit-part player to a strategic player in a large ecosystem.

“This initiative aims to train more than 300 engineers, and we have already secured the interests of key operators.

“However, there are still golden opportunities for us to collaborate,” he said during a Semicon Southeast Asia (SEA) 2024 luncheon session at the Malaysia International Trade and Exhibition Centre today.

Amirudin said Selangor’s strategic vision goes beyond nurturing talent, and it is committed to continuously evolving by understanding the industrial community’s needs.

Later, when speaking to the press, the Menteri Besar said the semiconductor industry holds immense market potential for the nation, extending to regions like Kedah, Penang, and Sarawak.

He said the trade tensions between the United States and China will drive companies globally to seek opportunities in the Southeast Asian region, including Malaysia.

“Thus, I believe that it will create job opportunities in terms of employment and technology transition.

“We are not only seeking investments but also preparing the ecosystem that will foster a skilled workforce in line with current demands,” Amirudin said.

Previously, on April 22, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim announced the development of the region’s largest chip design park in Puchong with the support of the Selangor state government.

He said the park would be a hub for many semiconductor industry players to set up their regional bases, providing a positive spillover effect for the country.

The park, which begins operating by July this year, has already garnered tremendous interest from industry players, prompting its expansion from the initially-proposed three-storey and 45,000-square-foot facility to a five-storey and 70,044-square-foot building.

State executive councillor for investment, trade, and mobility Ng Sze Han speaks to Media Selangor during the Semicon Southeast Asia (SEA) 2024 opening ceremony at the Malaysia International Trade and Exhibition Centre in Kuala Lumpur, on May 28, 2024. — Picture by FIKRI YUSOF/SELANGORKINI

Enhancing upstream process

Meanwhile, state executive councillor for investment, trade, and mobility Ng Sze Han said IC Design Park’s development is set to enhance the upstream process of Malaysia’s semiconductor industry, aligning with the country’s goal of becoming a semiconductor hub in Asia.

“The semiconductor industry is anticipated to be a significant contributor (to the economy), and Selangor is positioned to assist Malaysia in establishing a comprehensive ecosystem.

“At present, Malaysia’s semiconductor industry is robust, particularly in the downstream process,” he told Selangor Journal after Semicon SEA 2024’s opening ceremony this morning.

Citing Semicon SEA president and chief executive officer Ajit Manocha, Ng said the industry will continue to grow significantly in the future, with a global value of US$1 trillion (approximately RM4.5 trillion) by 2030.

He hopes Selangor will play a key role in contributing to the national semiconductor supply chain. If this objective materialises, it will enable the state to make significant economic contributions to Malaysia.

Previously, economist Prof Barjoyai Bardai had suggested that Malaysia focus on moving up the semiconductor value chain by prioritising sectors like IC design rather than just manufacturing, as current investments towards the industry are still primarily at the lower end of the chain.

Earlier today, Investment, Trade, and Industry Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz said Malaysia is looking to capitalise on the opportunity to expand its semiconductor industry, leveraging its five decades of experience in the field.

“Our expectation is to make Malaysia a hub for semiconductors in Asia,” he told the press after delivering his speech at the Semicon SEA 2024 opening ceremony.

“There’s a global demand for semiconductors, given the advancement of technology, especially in artificial intelligence. We, Malaysia, have developed and been part of this industry for the past 50 years.

“This is our opportunity to capitalise on what we have been investing for five decades and move up to the next level,” he said.

Investment, Trade, and Industry Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz speaks to the press during the Semicon Southeast Asia (SEA) 2024 opening ceremony at the Malaysia International Trade and Exhibition Centre in Kuala Lumpur, on May 28, 2024. — Picture by FIKRI YUSOF/SELANGORKINI

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