No more labour-intensive industry, we want a knowledge-based industry,” – Dr. S. Ramakrishnan
Knowledge and high skills are the two aspects stressed by Dr. S. Ramakrishnan, Chairman of Johor Legislative Assembly for Consumerism, Human Resources and Unity during his industrial visit to Bio-XCell Malaysia with Unit Swadaya Insan Negeri Johor.
Two challenges identified by Dr. S. Ramakrishnan and investors in a closed door meeting were keeping trained talents employed in Johor. Another challenge identified was lack of up-to-date skills and knowledge from fresh university graduates.
“Local universities are not up-to-date with technological development. Companies are building intensive programmes with the universities, reviewing syllabus of the courses and training lecturers as well which denotes a lot of work but a very positive aspect, as Malaysia will at least have a ‘fluent’ pool of talent in the field of biotechnology,” said Dr. S. Ramakrishnan.
“Government should also give more support to the companies for helping universities with syllabus and training the lecturers, as the companies are doing more than what they are supposed to do. Give them more benefits so that they can help Malaysia build knowledge-based workers and talent pool.”
For a more comprehensive field of biotechnology in Johor, he plans to allocate the Northern Johor for biomass technology while Southern Johor will focus on biotechnology, high technology, more research components, and data analysis.
Bio-XCell Malaysia is a biotechnology and ecosystem park, a joint-venture between Malaysian Bioeconomy Development Corporation Sdn Bhd and UEM Sunrise Berhad in SILC in Iskandar Puteri. The 160-hectare park was completed in 2012 with the infrastructure to accelerate the development of biotechnology ecosystem, specifically for the bio and medical industries in Malaysia. Currently, only 40% of the park has been occupied and they are planning to attract more investors and train more knowledge-based skilled workers.