Malaysian Shipyards Play Catch-up

Thursday, October 19, 2006
Thanks to a booming global shipping industry, Malaysian shipyards are working overtime, mostly to meet backlog orders that could stretch well into 2008. The biggest player, Malaysia Marine and Heavy Engineering Sdn Bhd (MMHE), has a backlog orders, which will keep it busy until the middle of 2008. Then there's mid-size Muhibbah Marine Engineering Sdn Bhd, with an order book of RM130 million that will last until early 2008. But a look at today's marine construction order book reveals that Malaysian shipbuilders have not managed to keep up with the other major regional players.

According to Muhibbah Marine shipyard general manager Ooi Kien Chuan, Singapore has had a head start over Malaysia as far as shipbuilding and marine engineering market share is concerned. He said the republic realised the importance of the shipyard industry and its contribution to the national economy as early as in the 1970s and acted on it with concerted effort. Today, it is reaping the dividends of that vision and fore- sight. Malaysia and Singapore's shipyard industry came about around the same time in 1969.

Another reason why Malaysia's shipyards lag behind countries such as Singapore, South Korea, Japan and China was their overdependence on orders from the Government. Source: Business Times Source: Business Times

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