DAP wants govt to allow travellers from India into Penang

(MMO) – The ban on travellers from India to prevent the spread of the new Indian variant of Covid-19 in Malaysia could leave a small impact on Penang’s industrial sector.

State exco Datuk Abdul Halim Hussain said there were several sectors in Penang, particularly those in information technology (IT), that have professionals from India who work here.

“There are about 3,000 professionals from India working in this state, mostly in software and IT,” he said on the sidelines after announcing a business virtual event.

He said some of these professionals are here on a contractual basis and these Indian professionals who specialised in software and IT were needed here to contribute to the electrical and electronic industry in order to meet increasing demands for electronic chips.

“This is why we have always emphasised on the need to train local talents so that we do not need to import talents from other countries to meet our industry demands,” the trade, industry and entrepreneur development committee chairman said.

Due to the ban on travellers from India, he said it might hamper some professionals from India from coming here which could affect the E&E industries but admitted the impact was unavoidable.

“We have to admit that public health takes precedence especially with the worsening Covid-19 situation in India so we have no choice but to accept the government’s decision to bar travellers from India,” he said.

In the meantime, he said the state will continue to focus on training up local talents to meet with industry demands and reduce dependence on foreign professionals.

He said once the state can produce sufficient quality local talents to meet industry demands, it will not only spur the state’s economy but also bring about a higher employment rate.

Earlier, Abdul Halim announced an international virtual business event — eBizstart 2021 —which will be held for 14 days from June 15 to 28.

“It will be the biggest virtual business event that will involve over 20,000 participants consisting of entrepreneurs, companies and business owners virtually,” he said.

He said over 500 exhibitors from across 12 nations will take part and there will be three major conferences and workshops during the event.

“There will be 150 speakers, 100 trainers, two major business pitching sessions involving 150 entrepreneurs, university technology matching sessions and 5,000 business matching sessions,” he said.