By Joyce Chang, The China Post
Acer Technologies Sdn. Bhd. of Penang, Malaysia, laid off 700 employees among its 2,300 workforce and paid out a total of NT$9 million (1 million ringgit) for this downsizing move, according to a press report yesterday. Affected by the economic slowdown, the computer giant has been taking “corporate re-engineering” steps to reduce its operational costs since April and has already laid off 400 employees. The local newspaper, the Star, quoted managing director C.Y. Ho as saying,” It is a painful but inevitable decision because demand for our products had gone down by almost 30 percent.” The maximum severance payment for an employee who has worked between two and five years is one and half month’s salary, plus one month’s salary for each of the service years, a special monthly allowance, and a 50 ringgit transport allowance, according to the Star’s report. Acer Technologies was among the first Taiwan companies to invest in Malaysia in the ’90s when the Taiwan government promoted the “Go South” investment policy. At that time, more than 300 Taiwan companies invested in Penang — the “Silicon Valley” of Malaysia. Taiwan companies gradually moved to mainland China as the government lifted the ban on mainland investments. Now there are only 16 Taiwan companies remaining in Penang. The weakening economic situation there is another major reason prompting Taiwan companies there to move out.
In the first quarter of last year, Taiwan’s investment in ASEAN countries decreased by 77 percent; in the Philippines down by 73 percent, Indonesia down by 97 percent, Singapore down by 52 percent and Vietnam down by 16 percent, according to statistics from the Ministry of Economic Affairs.