Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Freeze on Foreign Workers/ 冻结聘请外劳自救

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.



世界正面临经济崩溃。在我国,出口贸易面对两位数的下跌,其他领域也将受影响。

许多人都认为我国在上半年会面对技术性的经济缓慢,裁员风潮及失业率会随着攀升,如何为人民保住饭碗是政府的大挑战。

当我们正为失业趋恶忧心之际,却从报章读知即将有7万位孟加拉外劳获聘来马。悉数一算,在我国工作的孟加拉外劳人数快超过50万人了。

坦白说,我国经济已陷入衰退,批准和引进更多外劳绝对不符逻辑。面对经济大逆转,撤销有关批准才是上策。

目前,在我国的合法及非法外劳人数已逼近300万人。如果政府不严格处理,许多雇主会为了节省成本而弃用本地人,转聘只需60至70%薪水的外劳。

政府推出振兴经济配套目的是为本地人制造新工作,或保留市场的就业机会。在一些如种植业的领域,就应该设定最低的薪金架构,鼓励和吸引国人投身有关行业。

今天,绝大多数的小贩中心、餐馆及服务行业都几乎聘用外劳,我们的人民去哪儿了?目前,已有至少10万名大马人被解雇,雇主为缩减成本,通常都会选择聘请外劳。

在经济不景之时,求职者没有优势,雇主对雇员的态度是“接受或离开 “。因此,人民尤其是非技术人员求职时不应过于挑剔。

保留工作和人力再培训是政府目前首要的任务。新加坡政府在上个月刚推行一项“雇用补贴计划”,为聘请新加坡人的雇主提供现金回扣,以减低雇主的聘雇成本。有关措施的财务效应相当庞大。目前在新加坡工作的大马公民有约800万人,但并非所有雇主有资格享获这项补贴。

我曾多次提出,在经济缓慢之时,最好的方法是:
1) 提升技术能力,让现有的员工增值
2) 技术再培训以协助转行

政府需要调整现有的培训计划,特别要检讨转行再培训方案,税务奖掖也很重要。例如,聘请被裁员工的公司,可扣除该员工年薪的双倍数额税务,此措施有助推行再培训计划。我国一向来都忽略了人力资源的培训。在经济艰难时期,政府更应善用人力资源基金,为国人提供业余课程。

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。

另一方面,人力资源部的职责不仅限于公布职位空缺及裁员的数据,我们不需要由部长来告诉大家这些数据。部长贵为部门之首,我们期望他能清楚告诉全民人资部在这经济严冬将扮演的角色,尤其要告诉大家该部将如何实行有效的培训及再培训计划。

5 comments:

Nordin said...

Agree with you Dato Seri. But the difficult part is how to bang into the thick skull of current leadership of the country.

Michael said...

大叔, 我的杀毒报说你网页有病毒

Pearls said...

All said and done, are Malaysians willing to take up those jobs that are offered to foreign workers? I am sure these jobs are not desk sitting with computer and air cond. If I am not wrong, these jobs are back breaking, dirty, long hours and at times, under the blazing sun...

This is the reality of things. Most Malaysians, young and old are not willing to take up any of these jobs may it be in the estate or in the city cleaning toilets, wiping glass windows or picking up rubbish and washing dishes. These jobs don't need much training but a lot of hard work. So, how?

Vesu said...

Hard work ? Malaysians are prepared to do it but you do not pay them peanuts. The whole bunch of capitalists are looking for huge profit for themselves - go and recruit workers in rural of Pahang,Sarawak,Sabah etc - The HR ministry should look into this. Its no longer a secret that people make big and quick bucks when you bring in foreign workers>>> this is corrupt!

Alvin said...

I work in singapore 8 year already.i have attend training course run by SG gov.SORRY to say that the result is not proven even SG gov do it effectively.How abt msia?just feeding more and more lecturer and waste money on that training center.Why not put more concentration to topic safety and job creation.training?just a show of government.

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