As you know, Malaysia is home to a fair number of factories. Many of them even make components for things that will not ultimately be available here officially. One factory that does make parts for products available locally and abroad is one belonging to Sony in Perai, Penang. Unfortunately, this manufacturing plant will be closed next September.
According to FMT, the factory would have been in operation for 36 years when that happens. It will also see almost 3400 workers being laid off, 1800 of whom are local. Some of them will be transferred to another Sony factory in Bangi. In the meantime, the factory will be closing in stages.
Sony has yet to issue a statement itself. State International and Domestic Trade Committee chairman Halim Hussain said that this is part of the company’s global restructuring plans. He also said that Penang is drawing in RM10 billion in foreign investments that will generate more than 9000 jobs in the future. So there’s somewhere the retrenched workers can go to if they did not get the Bangi transfer.
At any rate, the closure of the Sony plant in Perai means one less birthplace of audio products like the Walkman in the world. While unfortunate, it’s not exactly a surprising occurrence.