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Honouring Look East Policy alumni

Honouring Look East Policy alumni

26 Aug 2022

Panasonic Group of Companies in Malaysia commemorated the 40th anniversary of Malaysia’s Look East Policy (LEP), which has been instrumental in driving the country’s industrialisation.

In the presence of Japanese parliamentary vice-minister of economy, trade and industry Iwata Kazuchika, Japanese Ambassador to Malaysia Takahashi Katsuhiko and Malaysian Investment Development Authority (Mida) chief executive officer Datuk Arham Abdul Rahman, the occasion brought together LEP alumni who have contributed to Malaysia’s social and economic development through learning from Japan.

Since 1965, Panasonic has contributed to about 1% of Malaysia’s gross domestic product (GDP) and created some 20,000 jobs through the 21 companies under Panasonic Group of Companies in Malaysia.

In addition, Panasonic started the Human Resources Development Fund-certified in-house education and training institution in Malaysia, coaching some 5,000 employees every year for the past 25 years.

From 1996 to March 2020, a total of 375 excellent employees, 61 of whom were Malaysians, graduated from the Panasonic Manufacturing College in Osaka, Japan – a core manufacturing human resource development institute offering a one-year programme.

The LEP, introduced by former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, placed great significance on the development of infrastructure and human resource.

As a company that had grown its business through human resource development for over a century, Panasonic was well placed to co-lead the charge in building human capital.

“Panasonic’s Basic Business Philosophy and the practice of 5S (sort, set in order, shine, standardise and sustain) concentrates on producing employees who can contribute to society, especially in the manufacturing sector,” said Panasonic Malaysia Sdn Bhd (Panasonic management division) managing director Hiroyuki Imizu.

“Our training programmes are rooted in fostering work ethic and cultivating an independent and responsible mindset, which has led to employee development and the pride of job ownership.

“As a result, this mindset is a source of profit and has contributed to the realisation of the LEP.

“By further developing our business with a focus on human resource development, we hope to continue making meaningful contributions where Malaysia is richer both socially and economically.

“Malaysia, in particular Mida, has been supporting Panasonic for the past 57 years in its capacity as a one-stop solution centre and we are immensely grateful for the cooperation,” he said.

Arham said the commemoration was a testament to strong bilateral relations between Malaysia and Japan since 1957.

“Matsushita Corporation, known as Panasonic Corporation today, was one of the earliest Japanese companies that established their footprint in Malaysia.

“It began operations in 1965 and never ceased to consider Malaysia as part of its growth opportunity.

“The 40th anniversary is a great opportunity to publicise the significant role the LEP has played.

“It also aims to encourage Japanese and Malaysians to walk hand-in-hand towards the future, through mutual understanding and friendly cooperation in various fields,” said Arham.

Since the Malaysian government adopted the LEP in 1982, more than 26,000 promising Malaysian youths have gone to Japan for studies and training.

They have been active in the front line of various fields in Malaysia, playing an important role in connecting both countries.

Many of these former students had also played a critical role in the start-up of Panasonic’s operations.

Seventy-five of them are still working within the group, with one rising through the ranks to become deputy managing director of Panasonic Industrial Devices Malaysia Sdn Bhd.

To date, some 1,500 Japanese companies, including Panasonic Group of Companies, are operating in Malaysia, with over 400,000 Malaysians in their employment.

Source: The Star