MALAYSIA: Glove makers seek allocation for brand building under Budget 2013

Datuk Seri Stanley Thai, Executive Chairman cum group Managing Director of Supermax Corp Bhd, one of the leading glove manufacturers, said building a domestic brand in the international scene is not an easy task, therefore concerted efforts and time need to be further strengthened.

"The government needs to look into higher allocation for brand building. I think the existing brand building incentive is not good enough.

"If you look at LG, Samsung, looking at how they build their brand, they got a lot of government
support to build a global name. If Korea can do it, why not Malaysia," he told Bernama on the sidelines of the 6th International Rubber Glove Conference & Exhibition in Kuala Lumpur.

Currently, Malaysia's glove manufacturers command about 60 per cent share of the world glove market. Supermax holds more than 10 per cent of the 60 per cent share.

Thai also enchoed the Malaysian Rubber Glove Manufacturers Association's
(MARGMA) call for the extension of reinvestment allowance (RA).

"Malaysia can be proud of our rubber glove industry as we are able to keep sustainability and competitiveness up to now, despite the turbulence and challenges for the past few years. However, I think the industry also need the government's continuous support, for instance, the RA," he

Meanwhile, MARGMA President Lim Kwee Shyan said the rubber glove industry is entering its new phase of development which required more innovations in order to remain competitive.

"The government cannot look at the industry as an old industry. It is a newly branded industry. All of us have gone into different sizes, different modes of capacities and even the level of innovation is different (so) this is something that is very challenging to us," he said.

He said the next level of development will be into civil automation and brand marketing which needs reinvestment over the next few years.

This will not only create production efficiency but also reduce dependency on foreign workers, which accounted for some 30,000 workers out of the total 60,000 workers in the glove
manufacturing sector, he added.

MARGMA's immediate past president KM Lee revealed that Malaysian rubber and nitrile glove manufacturers are expected to invest between RM300 million and RM500 million in the next
five to eight years in automation.

Lee, who is also Managing Director of Top Glove Sdn Bhd, said with the extension of the reinvestment allowance, the manufacturers will be able to spend more money on building local skilled workers, as well as contributing to the country's growth.

Currently, the reinvestment allowance is only up to 15 years while some rubber glove manufacturers have been operating over 15 years.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak will present Budget 2013 in Parliament on 28 Sept.

Source: "Bernama" (Malaysian National News Agency), Kuala Lumpur; 6 Sept 2012

(Syed Rashid Ali, Karachi, Pakistan)