Malaysia is one of Asia's biggest employers of foreign labour. But recently, cases of deaths, abuse and forced labour have come to light. What is going on? Who is protecting these migrant workers?
DAP Socialist Youth (DAPSY) Policy Bureau Director Phoong Jin Zhe said this is worrying and needs to be addressed immediately.
Phoong highlighted in a statement yesterday that the report showed youth unemployment rates rising from 9.5% to 10.7%, out of the national unemployment rate which rose from 2.9% to 3.1%.
On top of that, among the youth between 15 to 24 years old, only 16% have received high education while the remaining 84% are only secondary school graduates.
Notably, 23% of the university graduates are unemployed, in which Bank Negara justified that this is due to the increase in low and mid-skilled jobs within the country, and at the same time local industries are heavily relying on cheap labour that leads to low cost production. These, Bank Negara says are the reasons university graduates are finding it difficult to find a suitable job despite being equipped with the skills and knowledge for such industries.
Phoong warned that if such a scenario continues, the brain drain and income gap between rich and poor will continue to be worsened, which will cause the country to lose its competitive capability in the long run.
Phoong also said that despite several transformation programs carried out by the government, no significant changes can be seen, which can lead youths to lose hope.
He blamed the local industries’ heavy reliance on cheap labour consisting of large groups of foreign labourers, by which job opportunities created need not be a high skilled profession, as the main reason why the brain drain problem continues to fracture the country’s youth development.
Phoong suggested that it is necessary for our country to undergo industrial upgrading whereby high-skilled jobs can be created and there are high value productions so that university graduates will have opportunity in the country.
He stressed that in order to give youth industries a chance, the practice of heavy reliance on low skilled cheap labour has to be stopped.
“This is the only way our country could achieve its innovative upgrades in order to produce world class productions, and someday we might even get the chance to have our own Nobel prize receiver, and lead the country to its highest potential,” he said.
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