If we type ‘robots replace humans’ in Google search, we can find unlimited Youtube videos about it. If we google for news, these are some of the articles: ‘Will robots replace human drivers, doctors and other workers?’ or this “Rise of the robots, what advances mean for workers.” Basically, the theme is the same. Robots will replace us in many jobs in the future. From the articles, it is NOT just the manual jobs in factories or plantations. Those are already being replaced even as we continue to drink of Starbucks today. The robots may replace even medical staffs. Okay, sounds pretty scary at this moment. I would prefer to see a smiling human face greeting me in a hospital and not a robot, unless of course I could no longer tell the difference! As of now, this is not so near future but robots and by extension, the robotics industry is really going to be around for the foreseeable future. Johor may now play a part too.
Do refer to the latest business joint-venture between Malaysia-China reported in Astro-Awani. It says that Johor Corporation (JCorp) has signed a Cooperation Intention Agreement with Siasun Robot Investment Co. Ltd to develop 404 hectares of land for the Robotic Future City in Johor worth RM15 billion. This is an extension to an earlier MOU a month earlier. JCorp released a statement saying that the project would produce and attract high-skilled talents to create high-income employment opportunities and accelerate the region”s economic growth. Who is Siasun?As per the article, “Siasun is the largest organisation for robotics development in China and the third largest in the world. It is listed on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange with a market capitalisation of 40 billion yuan (RM25 billion).” As per Forbes, it has ranked Siasun as Asia’s top 200 best companies under a billion. (US$1 billion). Here’s the link @ Forbes. In brief, JCorp has found a good technology partner. As for how far and how fast the deal would go, let’s keep following.
The debate about the oversupply of residential homes in Iskandar / JB should not just be about how many new homes were built or completed. Or even some scary articles here. It should be about whether there are enough employment opportunities created from more high-tech companies. It should also be about how many Singaporean SMEs are relocating or adding to their production sites in Iskandar. As long as these new jobs are being offered in Iskandar, it meant that the number of people employed would increase. When this happens, more homes are needed. The best focus is thus to keep getting more of these high-tech companies wishing to invest and build in Iskandar. In the beginning, let’s get more expats to move here while the locals are being trained. If however, all these new investments are not forthcoming, then there is no need to debate if there is an oversupply because once these new homes are completed and no one stays in them, it will be eerie and scary. Please work harder, dear authorities and of course the private sectors too.
written on 15 May 2017
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