Penang bets on IT-BPO Hub

High-tech industry: An artist impression of the BPO Piazza and the BPO Prime building (right).

The RM3.3bil Infor-mation Technology Outsourcing and Business Process Outsourcing (IT-BPO) Hub in Penang will generate some 30,000 high-paying jobs when the project is fully developed in 10 years.

Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said in the first five years, about 21,000 high-paying jobs would be created.

“The fastest-growing sector in the BPO industry in Malaysia is in banking, financial services and insurance with a 30% market share followed by manufacturing (27%), oil and gas (22%), and others such as retail, logistics, government and telecommunication.

“The outsourcing sector in Malaysia is expected to expand at an average rate of 15% in the next three years in terms of revenue,” he said at the ground-breaking ceremony of the IT-BPO Hub in Bayan Lepas (next to the Penang International Airport) yesterday.

The IT-BPO Hub comprises three components involving a 30ha IT-BPO Park in Bayan Lepas, a planned development of 2.8ha BPO Prime in Bayan Baru and a 9,290sq m of Creative Animation Triggers (CAT) in the George Town heritage enclave.

Lim said he was informed that the outsourcing industry had created about 50,000 new jobs as of June 2013, adding that the Multimedia Development Corp targets the creation of at least 85,000 jobs by 2017 for Malaysia.

BPO services include customer operations, data processing, back office administration, accounting, technical support, transcription, software development, IT consultancy and disaster recovery services.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Abdul Wahid Omar represented the Prime Minister at the event.

He said the global outsourcing market was currently worth US$458bil (RM1.501 trillion) and was expected to reach US$625bil (RM2.048 trillion) by 2017.

“Malaysia’s outsourcing industry worth US$1.7bil (RM5.57bil) in 2012 is projected to grow even faster, doubling in value by 2017. The federal and state governments must work together to ensure the success of the IT-BPO Hub,” he added.

Source: StarProperty.my

  1. hosay
    March 4th, 2014 at 08:37 | #1

    Penang Island still the best … hehehe

  2. Cheap
    March 4th, 2014 at 09:35 | #2

    Where is the exact location?

  3. cl
    March 4th, 2014 at 09:50 | #3

    This is great news for Penang and will boost up the property price.

  4. thor
    March 4th, 2014 at 09:55 | #4

    this is great, but don’t you think it is to congested? Road widen should upgrade as well…

  5. Unker Ho
    March 4th, 2014 at 10:19 | #5

    Next to National Instruments at Batu Maung

  6. tomato
    March 4th, 2014 at 10:47 | #6

    Well, don’t get too happy too soon. BPO is not something new. India can provide the service at a fraction of the cost of what we can do. Well, jobs will be created, no doubt. But whether income will increase, that’s another story.

    But it’s ok, since it’s near to Batu Kawan, it should give Batu Kawan properties a lift, even if those working in the BPO industries cannot afford island properties…..:)

  7. cl
    March 4th, 2014 at 11:22 | #7

    Good for south west area development…. if success, there really a significant opportunity.

  8. Elmo
    March 4th, 2014 at 23:23 | #8

    How success will not know as mostly outsourcing will still be in KL. All back office support mainly will still be in KL. I know oil and gas like Shell, BP back office all in KL. Chervon is in Philippine. It is almost US$1 billion of investment to Malaysia.

    With Tun Razak Financial Central coming up in KL, most banking back office processing still will be in KL. We are still behind India, Philippine, Mexico and China in term of outsourcing.

  9. khc
    March 5th, 2014 at 09:06 | #9

    Means good news for penang property. Will it hav a positive impact also on Sg ARA property?

  10. cl
    March 5th, 2014 at 10:34 | #10

    I think should be bring positive impact to property especially at Sungai Ara, Batu Maung and Relau area etc… More pp will work here since MNCs’ are established here if the project is success like India or Singapore. But need time.

  11. CookieMonster
    March 5th, 2014 at 10:35 | #11


    There are many ways of interpreting this piece of info. Good news? Well, depends on the time horizon. If you’re talking about a short term of 5 years, this thing is not even completed yet, and there are other dominant factors in play (housing oversupply, strict loan approvals, high household debts etc). House price in Penang would have to correct itself to align with fundamentals.

    If you’re talking about 15 years, no one knows what’s going to happen then. Maybe Msia is in big recession by then because our reserve of petroluem has run out, or maybe by then Vietnam is coming up so fast that they are taking away BPO jobs, as well as manufacturing jobs etc……:)

  12. Cheap
    March 5th, 2014 at 10:56 | #12


    So this is the bad news for you then? For me, this development will sure create more demand, regardless of (housing oversupply, strict loan approvals, high household debts etc) that you mentioned here…

  13. CookieMonster
    March 5th, 2014 at 14:33 | #13


    Well, I did not say bad news. All i’m saying is, don’t think too much of this. Designating a hub, building a futuristic looking building and then announce it to the world, is probably the easiest part in the whole initiative…..:) But to really get the MNCs to setup operations here (and enough of them to make an impact to our standard of living) is totally another thing.

    It’s like a teenager going to the book store to buy up all the best reference books and announce it to his friends that we wants to be No.1 in school exams. Buying books is easy right? Talk cock to his friends is easy right? But whether he has the brains or not, or work hard enough or not? or work smart enough or not? That’s a different thing……:)

  14. Cheap
    March 5th, 2014 at 16:08 | #14


    ic… good analogy. But it is very unlikely the futuristic looking building will become a white elephant with the right pull for the investors. after all penang has to move on from mainly manufacturing driven economy to a more balanced one… else very dangerous… i support the initiative…

  15. James
    March 6th, 2014 at 06:34 | #15

    Overall…. this is good. South east part of the island should benefit

  16. CookieMonster
    March 6th, 2014 at 10:01 | #16


    benefit in terms of…..? If you’re talking about jobs, not only south east part, everyone with the right skills in Penang would benefit. If you’re talking about property price, for the short and medium term, should have no impact, other factors would be dominant (eg. housing oversupply, strict loan approvals, high household debts, state and PR1MA affordable housing etc). If you’re talking about long term, it’s too early to tell.

  17. Chris
    March 6th, 2014 at 10:45 | #17

    Sort of agree with you. With MNC cutting here and there, and conversations among colleagues are gloomy topics about our department may not last forever and might get outsourced to cut cost (give jobs to outsourcing companies that pay less/give less benefits to employees), I sort of see such BPO jobs picking up pace.

    However, I’m not too convinced that it will be “High paying”. Probably above average pay in Malaysia, but definitely not confident it will create demand for high priced super condo.

    Hmm, 30000 jobs, 15000 young couples in future need a home.

  18. CookieMonster
    March 7th, 2014 at 12:38 | #18


    BPO successful or not, still a very very long way to go. Don’t count on it to “rescue” the coming property glut.

    But if you move a step back, take a deep breathe, and think carefully, you should realize the property price on the island has already run too far ahead of fundamentals.

    Example, a single-storey bungalow with 8000sqft of land in san jose (a high-income tech area in the US) is going at USD800,000, while a single-storey bungalow with 8000sqft of land in penang island (a place where san jose MNCs move their low waged unwanted jobs to) is going at USD950,000…..:)

  19. Cheap
    March 7th, 2014 at 13:15 | #19


    Apple to orange comparison again?

  20. CookieMonster
    March 7th, 2014 at 13:40 | #20


    It’s a Ubari Melon to Buah Ciku comparison. And it seems the ciku is slightly more expensive then the Ubari melon…..:)

  21. Cheap
    March 7th, 2014 at 14:06 | #21



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