Monday, December 5, 2011


Wednesday November 16, 2011





Assalamualaikum W.B.T, Good Morning and Salam 1Malaysia.

Mr. P'ng Soo Hong,
Managing Director of First Solar (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd;

Ir. Ahmad Hadri Haris,
Senior Director of Public Affairs;

Tuan Haji Muhamad Sobri Osman,
President of Kulim Technology Park Corporation;

Kulim Industrial Tenants Association (KITA) members;

Members of the Media, and

Honourable Guests.

1. Firstly, I would like to take this opportunity to thank First Solar (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd. for inviting me to this momentous occasion. Although this is my second time here, I’m still amazed with the fact that First Solar is the first solar module manufacturing plant in Malaysia but within four years, has turn from a single plant in 2008 to six plants fully ramped up by mid 2011, workforce growth from 109 employees in 2007 to approximately 3500 employees as of October 2011, currently the largest single site for thin-film solar module manufacturing in the world with a capacity of approximately 1.62GW power worth of solar panels annually and most importantly contributed approximately RM3.45 billion to the local economy since starting operations.

Honourable Guests,

2. Solar technology isn’t new. Its history spans from the 7th Century B.C. till today. We started out concentrating the sun’s heat with glass and mirrors to light fires. Its use and importance has increased significantly since.

3. Today, we have everything from solar powered buildings to solar powered vehicles. With an abundance of solar energy – enough shining on the earth every hour to meet the world demand for an entire year – it's no surprise that solar energy has time and again been harnessed to meet the growing needs of mankind.

4. From the ancient Mediterranean homes built to face the sun during the cold winter months to highly sophisticated thin-film photovoltaic cells which generate electricity from sunlight, solar energy continues to be a leading source of primary and alternative energy. Utilising solar technology and other forms of renewable energy helps to reduce reliance on fossil fuels for energy production thus directly reduces CO2 emissions which contribute to climate change and consequently global warming.

Honourable Guests,

5. Climate change is not just about the warming of the earth but rather more profound is its impact on humankind’s existence on this planet we call home. It affects every facet of our lives and in particular our food security. This issue not only besets Asia but the entire world. The current events of extreme weather patterns are said to be the after effects of global warming. Just imagine the consequences if the great rivers of Asia like the Yangtze, Yellow River, Mekong, Ganges and the others run dry due to the effect of prolonged drought. Many would argue that this phenomenon is already occurring. It has been said that climate change is one that we ignore at our own peril.

6. Malaysia is in the fight against climate change. We are committed to reduce our carbon emissions. Our Prime Minister has envisioned Green technology as the new growth engine for Malaysia. We foresee that Green technology will help Malaysia remain competitive in the international marketplace as global demand for environmentally sound products increase. Furthermore, our PM has also said that Green development strategies are not only due to economic considerations but that we have a moral obligation to leave behind an ecosystem that future generations can live in.

7. Hence, the National Green Technology Policy was formulated to:

• minimise growth of energy consumption while enhancing economic development;
• facilitate the growth of the Green Technology industry and enhance its contribution to the national economy;
• increase national capability and capacity for innovation in Green Technology development and enhance Malaysia’s competitiveness in Green Technology at the global arena;
• ensure sustainable development and conserve the environment for future generations; and
• enhance public education and awareness on Green Technology and encourage its widespread use.

Honourable Guests,

8. Today’s event is in line with the Government’s policy to facilitate the growth of our Green Technology industry and enhance its contribution to the national economy. Today, First Solar (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd has reached the accumulative production of 3000 mega watts (more than 38,000 solar panel’s output). I was informed that this is achieved only within 3 years of production compared to others that require 6 to 8 years. I am certainly pleased with this development. Well done! I am also encouraged by the recognition by First Solar of our highly skilled and qualified workers. This is something that we can all be proud of.

9. With today’s momentous output, Malaysia is firming up its position as one of the largest solar panel producing nations-overtaking much larger competitor nations as world-class companies start to expand their capacities in Malaysia.

Honourable Guests,

10. The reasons behind Malaysia’s success are manifold. The Government gives support in the form of tax breaks, loans and clear regulations. Many world-class companies have started solar manufacturing operations in Malaysia including First Solar. With incentives such as a 15 year tax holiday for solar company profits, low interest rates and good infrastructure such as in Kulim Hi-Tech Park, I dare say that we are a favoured destination for foreign direct investment (FDI) in this regard.

11. Thus, the message that I want to send out this morning is that the Government is committed to ensuring that we provide the best environment for investments both foreign and domestic to thrive.

Honourable Guests,

12. I believe this is just the beginning of a bright and profitable future for First Solar.

13. Bill Gates said and I quote, ‘Almost every way we make electricity today, except for the emerging renewable and nuclear, puts out CO2. And so, what we're going to have to do at a global scale is to create a new system. And so, we need energy miracles’.

14. With that, I wish First Solar (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd all the best and success in your future endeavours and congratulations on achieving the accumulative production of 3000 mega watt of solar panels. Once again thank you for the kind invitation and I look forward to further success stories from this company.

Thank you.

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