PETALING JAYA: While parents bemoan the long wait for MyKid identity cards for their children because of a chip shortage, local semiconductor manufacturers say the country is nearing the end of its supply crunch.

Malaysia Semiconductor Industry Association (MSIA) president Datuk Seri Wong Siew Hai said more microchips were being made.

Although supply was slow for the automotive sector, it was not as intense as during the peak of the Covid-19 outbreak, he added.

“The year 2022 was marked by production disruptions across many fronts. In addition to existing semiconductor shortages, the Russia-Ukraine conflict and Covid-19 outbreaks in China also affected global supply chains and auto production.

“However, Malaysia has recovered sufficiently from Covid-19 and we resolved the microchip supply disruption problem last November. The shortage in the automotive sector is due to high demand,” he said.

Wong was commenting on National Registration Department (NRD) director-general Datuk Ruslin Jusoh’s revelation that there would be a six-month delay in issuing the MyKid to newborns due to the global microchip shortage caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Malaysia is among the major producers of microchips in the world.

Ruslin had said that parents could submit new applications but would have to wait a little longer because NRD was only able to process applications in stages.

Wong, however, said not all manufacturers who supplied microchips for the MyKid were members of MSIA, adding that he had made enquiries with his members.

“Sometimes the company which designs the card does not produce the microchip … is it a chip shortage or design problem?” he quipped.

Wong said some other countries that produce semiconductors were still facing a shortage but not Malaysia, adding that feedback from MSIA members was that those supplying passport and credit card microchips were not facing any shortage.

He added that with sales of personal computers, smartphones and consumer electronics dwindling, some manufacturers have cut down production to reallocate some of their capacity to the automotive market.

On social media, parents were still venting their frustration over the delay in using MyKid cards.

Facebook user Ummi Iman said she applied for a MyKid for her child two months ago but “it is still not ready”.

Another parent, Baizura Jafri, said she applied for a Mykid at NRD Kuantan in May last year but is still waiting for it.

Similarly, Suhana Mat Rau hasn’t received the card after applying for it last August.

“I was told it is being processed, but it’s taking too long,” she complained.

Many parents also said they might have to resort to using their newborns’ birth certificates.

“But do they expect us to bring the birth certificate everywhere?” said Suryana Mohamad Suhaimi.