Saturday, October 8

National cars overcome shortage of skilled manpower in automotive industry — Dr Mahathir


PUTRAJAYA: The production of the national cars not only aimed to expand the manufacturing industry in the country, it was in fact a platform to train many skilled workers in the automotive industry, said Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

He said the automotive industry was among the industries that could churn out many skilled workers because a car had 4,000 parts where their methods of production and installation must be learnt.

“Now we know how to make a car and when we know how to design and produce cars, we also learnt on the engineering involved. We have learnt many things just out of one industry only,” he said at the dialogue session on the Educational and Technical and Vocational Training Conference (TVET) here yesterday.

He said this when replying to a question from the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Institute of Automotive, Robotic and Internet of Things Malaysia (MARii), Datuk Madani Sahari on TVET as an effective method in resolving the problems of the gap between the workers’ skills and the needs of the automotive industry.

Dr Mahathir said players in the automotive industry must always enhance their capacities in line with the sophistication of the current vehicle manufacturing technology.

Unlike the manufacturing of the first national car Proton Saga, he said the manufacturing of cars currently were far more complex and involved the installation of up to 200 computer microchips to enable the car to be driven more easily.

“Now we not only install cars but we oversee the engine or robot that install the cars, so how we supervise these machines is also a skill needed to manufacture cars in this era.

“Now the cars can go on their own and we can talk to the cars ordering them to go here and there. The first Proton Saga could not (do this) but if we buy the Proton X70 we can talk to the car, if we sit alone in the car, people will say we are mad!” he said in jest.

Dr Mahathir said the other industries like the aerospace also required many skilled workers as they were among the biggest industries producing components with Malaysia now producing parts of the aeroplane components for Airbus and Boeing.

He said the first time the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace (LIMA) Exhibition was held in 1991, not one component produced by Malaysia was exhibited, but now almost the entire exhibition comprised Malaysian-made goods.

“I am confident that Malaysians are no less qualified than the other nationalities, the question is whether they want it or not. If we don’t want to learn, we will be left behind,” he said.

Regarding skilled workers in the creative industry, Dr Mahathir said the Malaysian National Film Development Corporation (FINAS) led by Ahmad Idham Ahmad Nadzri as the new Chief Executive Officer who was appointed in March, must ensure that the sophisticated filming equipment available nowadays were exploited in the production of local films.

“There are lots of things that you can do. I am confident that one of the ways is appoint a new person to head FINAS. I hope you don’t fail us. I cannot be of much help because I am not creative like them…but I am creative in politics.

“The equipment today are very sophisticated, can do everything. Now must learn to use these equipment and read a lot of story books,” he said adding in jest that local film producers need not produce too many ghost stories. — Bernama