The world is facing an economic meltdown. Malaysia export is experiencing a double-digit drop. All sectors will likely to be affected.
A lot of people think we should be facing a technical recession in the 1st half of the year. Retrenchment and unemployment will be going upward. How to save jobs for the rakyat became a challenge. In the midst of all this, I read in the papers that another 70, 000 Bangladeshis will be in country soon. This will swell the number of Bangla in our country to over 500, 000.
Honestly, I cannot see the logic of allowing more and more foreign workers into our country when there is economic downturn and granted approval was given. It is time to revoke the approval in view of the changed economic scenario.
There are already about 2.8 million to 3 million foreign workers (legal and illegal). If the government is not firm, a lot of establishment in order to save costs will then employ foreign workers whose pay is almost always only 60% to 70% that of the Malaysian.
The stimulus package is to create job or preserve jobs for locals. A minimal wage structures should be introduced for some of the sectors like plantation and services, if we are committed to attract local to this sectors.
Today, almost all hawkers centre, restaurants and hospitality sectors are dominated by foreign workers. Where have all our rakyat gone to?
Meanwhile, at least 100, 000 Malaysians have been temporarily laid off or retrenched. Establishment will always take the easy way by employing foreign workers to save costs.
Malaysians, especially unskilled workers should not be too fussy about jobs. It is not a workers market. Take it or leave it will be the employer’s attitude.
Saving job and skill retraining should be top priority by the government. Singapore recently introduced “job credit” – whereby the government will give the employee a cash grant to reduce the cost of employing Singaporean workers. The financial implication will be huge. There are about 8 million Malaysian workers and not all employers qualify for this job credit
In an economic slowdown, it is best to:
1) Upgrade skill of existing workforce;
2) Re-skilling for job switch
The government should fine tuned training programme especially for job switch. A generic formula for any workers will not work.
Tax incentives e.g. double tax deduction of their worker’s salary for specific period may be incentives for the retraining of workers. We seem to neglect human resource training. The HRD fund should be optimized fully during this period to run part time course.
There seems to be lack of information about the activities of the National Human Resource Development Fund. They should be stepping up their training courses and have more interaction with the workers.
The Human Resource Ministry should not be reduced to just releasing job vacancy and retrenchment figures. We do not need a Minister to do this. We expect him to tell us more about the role of Ministry in this slowdown, especially training and retraining.
此外，鉴于缺乏资讯，国人对人力资源发展基金（Human Resource Development Fund简称HRDF）的了解非常有限。人资部和雇主有必要加紧推行各种培训，并增进与员工的交流和沟通。