The Sustainable Inheritance of the Textile Industry

In year 1969, by chance I further my tertiary study in Taiwan Feng Chia University and without serious thought took up the Textile course.

After graduated from Taiwan, I was employed in a Taiwan firm based in Singapore. I worked in the knitting department for seven years. The factory was well equipped with high-technology machineries and provided me good learning opportunity. Hence I accumulated previous experience which laid the foundation for me to step into the textile industry.

In the 70s, Malaysia was developing light industries and investment in the knitting and garment industry became the main driver. That was the golden period for investments. Thus, I decided to quit my job in Singapore and started my own business with friends. 

Time flies and I have been in this industry for nearly 50 years. Overs these years, we encountered various difficulties and even being cheated many times. Of course on the other hand there are great friends that rendered assistance and valuable advises that are helpful in time of need.

In my opinion, the Malaysian textile industry is unable to flourish due to the following reasons :

1.      Lack of Government support. SME loans are offered with conditions. Usually it is difficult to get approval without mortgage. Loans from financial institutions are even more stringent as they are very cautions towards SME companies and often tighten financial facilities in times of crisis. Financial constraint limits companies to purchase new machineries to upgrade their capacity and quality. 

2.      Lack of human resources particularly the intermediate level skillful employees. Furthermore, businesses are often jeopardized by the unstable foreign workers policy and the burden of shifting the levy from foreign workers to the employers. Many companies have no choice but to closed down or change path to operate other businesses.  

3.      Not many capital intensive spinning mills within the country which caused lack of local supply of raw materials. Businesses have to depend on import raw materials. Often they are required to import in containers which tightens their cash flow.

Although the above factors impacted the growth of the textile industry, businesses still can survive. If a company is effectively managed there will be outstanding performance. We have witness many successful textile businesses in the country.

 

Recently, microfiber products are becoming increasingly popular and tend to replace some cotton products. As new products are emerging, the industry must embrace innovation. Thus, I encourage young generations to pursue your dream. If you have opportunity to inherit or join the textile and apparel industry, let the story continues. I deeply believe that the textile industry is NOT sunset industry, it will be a sustainable inheritance and never be wipe out.

~~By Mr. Tan Wah Ching on 23/7/2018

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