Packard Bell NEC will not shut down Asia Pacific plant

by Julian Matthews

PENANG–Packard Bell NEC will not shut down its Asia Pacific plant in Penang nor layoff any of its staff there or in sales offices in Middle East, Australia or New Zealand.

Company spokesperson Grace Lau confirmed this in a response to CNET Asia following the announcement of drastic restructuring of its US unit with 80 percent staff cuts and withdrawal of the Packard Bell brand from retail shelves.

“There are no cuts in Asia Pacific that we are aware of at this moment,” said Lau, who said the company in fact just advertised for new engineers last month.

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SyQuest to Shut Malaysian Plant, Retrench 1,000 Workers

By Julian Matthews

November 12,1998 (KUALA LUMPUR) — Removable disk drive maker SyQuest Technology Inc. will shut its manufacturing plants in Penang and displace almost 1,000 workers by year’s end, a government source said.

“About half of the 968 workers are to be retrenched by the end of November, and another half by December,” he said.

The source said the company attributed the closure to a fall in product demand, heavy losses incurred over the past two years and the inability of its headquarters to raise new capital.

The Penang facility has left a recorded message on its main telephone line stating it has shut down temporarily from Nov. 2 to Nov. 15 and would resume operations on Nov 16. Sources said workers were told a new product line would be introduced when the plant was re-opened.

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Global Slowdown Strikes Malaysian Electronic Factories

By Julian Matthews

The global downturn in the electronics industry is beginning to be felt in Malaysia following the closure of factories and a slowdown in production of existing plants.

Many factories, mainly in Penang, have put a freeze on recruitment and are controlling overtime, reducing shifts and shutting down during weekends, claimed OK Lee, chairman of the northern branch of the Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers.

“Business will be slow for the next six months, possibly until early next year,” Lee said.

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