Projects approved by state
|No||Domestic Invest (RM mill)||Foreign Invest (RM mill)||Total Investment (RM mill)||No||Domestic Invest (RM mill )||Foreign Invest (RM mill)||Total Investment (RM mill )|
If you consider that RM17.4 billion is for foreign investments in the electronics sector (think Penang and Selangor) and RM20.4 billion for foreign investments in basic metal products (think aluminium smelters in Sarawak), then you begin to wonder how many of these approved projects will actually materialise.
The global electronics sector is in deep trouble; so the Penang government shouldn’t rely on these figures for comfort this year. The figures for Sarawak include the proposed aluminium smelter (notice the sharp jump from 2007), which is nowhere near to being implemented – though that would be a blessing given the environmental implications.
From the Statistic Department’s release on manufacturing statistics, it appears there was a drop of 53,000 in total manufacturing employment from Nov 2007 to Nov 2008. And from Oct 2008 to Nov 2008, a decline of 11,000.
The days of FDI-driven economic growth are all but over. We now have to re-build our economy from the local level – a more egalitarian people-oriented model that promotes social justice. Think of investing in and improving public education, public health care, sustainable farming and affordable housing.
This requires a complete reorientation from the FDI-driven export-oriented model, which has left us exposed to the vagaries and shocks of the global economic system.
It is no coincidence that Singapore has been badly hit by the global recession, which could now turn out to be a global depression.