KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 22 — Human Resources Minister M. Kulasegaran expressed belief that Malaysian in so-called 3D (dirty, dangerous, difficult) jobs abroad would return home and perform the same work if salaries here were high enough.
Speaking during Question Time at the Dewan Rakyat today, Kulasegaran agreed with Khairy Jamaluddin (BN — Rembau) that it was wrong to assume Malaysian youths refused to work in 3D jobs.
“Maybe a lot of people won’t agree with me that there are many Malaysians working in Singapore or Australia in 3D jobs because they are paid well. So are the initiatives to bring them home? We are now working on a study (to attract youths working 3D jobs abroad).
“It is good to give attention to 3D jobs because we have more than two million foreign workers in this arena. If we raise the salary, give other incentives I believe many will return home and work here,” said Kulasegaran.
Khairy had earlier pointed out in his supplementary question that there was a misperception that there are Malaysian youths who were willing to do 3D jobs in Australia including picking apples and cherries but refused such work here due to the low pay.
Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad (PH — Setiawangsa) had first asked the Human Resource Ministry on the government’s plans to tackle youth unemployment.
He cited MIDF Research’s 2017 study where it found 10.8 per cent unemployment rate among youths, with 40.5 per cent of the total unemployed youths being graduates.
Kulasegaran said that there are 516,400 (27.3 per cent) youths who are unemployed and 140,977 unemployed graduates in 2018.
“The government has taken a few steps to reduce the unemployment rate including through job matching portal JobsMalaysia, organising Career Carnivals, creating one-stop centres and industrial training,” said Kulasegaran.