Dr.David Lacey - Research and Development Director, Osram
Dr.David Lacey - Research and Development Director, Osram

Dr.David notes that Penang seems significantly less intense with its way of life yet maintained its industrial standards, providing a rewarding career, which encompasses work life balance

Dr. David Lacey found himself in Penang by accident. Earlier on, he got a job in OSRAM, California, however, ended up in Germany as work visas in California were difficult to obtain. He subsequently returned to California, where the team discovered that there was an opportunity in the expansion of Osram plant in Malaysia.

His team seemed to have adopted this plant in many ways, as they were putting in about 18 months of work, traveling in and out of Malaysia for a few days each time, during the start-up operation. Although he has worked in a number of countries throughout his career, traveling was never a big thing for him. Therefore, Malaysia was never on his list of places to go.

After arriving in Malaysia though, Dr. David had a completely different outlook of the place. He was immediately and pleasantly surprised how the way of life here was in many ways similar to that in European countries. It was something Dr. David was more used to, in comparison to working and living in California, which he found quite foreign and felt like the ‘wild west’.

After September 11, the environment in the United States changed even more and he decided, upon serious thought to moving to Penang for 6 months, as his wife-to-be had then got a job in Singapore. 6 months up, Dr. David once again contemplated his next move and had this idea to pack up and join his wife-to-be in Singapore. But OSRAM Penang had other plans for him and pulled out a job offer.

The offer got him thinking hard. Eventually, he decided to take on the position which then led his wife-to-be to move to the island. As things took off, they decided to get married in the UK and had their first and second child here in Penang.

Life was good, as Dr. David notes that Penang by comparison to Taiwan or any other Asian country, still had its Asian charm and culture, yet was able to maintain an international nuance to it. Getting things done here, seemed very simple and effortless.

He found the old shop houses quaint and very interesting, especially the ones that ‘specialize’ in selling knick-knacks for the regular handyman. He loves the fact that such ‘SMEs’ still existed, though swiftly dwindling in numbers.

In 2007, Dr. David once again seriously contemplated a move, as he had reached a point in his life where he could either commit to another 5 years or do something completely different.

After weighing a ton of factors, especially his family, Dr. David was aware that settling in took a lot of time and adjustment for all of them. During his many postings, Dr. David had a collection of items and furniture in storage around the world, and after deciding to stay in Penang, he finally shipped them all here.

Dr. David notes that Penang seems significantly less intense with its way of life yet maintained its Industrial standards, providing him a rewarding career and great work-life balance.

He has recently obtained Permanent Resident status and this brings an advantage to his wife to be able to work again. Friends and family seem to love visiting and find it convenient, as it is comparatively a lot more affordable. Dr. David also finds the huge variety of food options, available 24/7, the more reason to reside here. Penang seems so globally connected and well informed these days and is a great place to live.