Govt still over-coddling fussy graduates

KUALA LUMPUR, 12 Oct 2019: 

The government continues to sidestep the root causes of why many Malaysian graduates still remain jobless many months after graduation, failing to take note that lots of these youths are still happy to live off their parents.

Instead, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng yesterday announced in the 2020 Budget cash incentives for these fussy graduates – designed specifically for those who remain unemployed for over 12 months.

“Graduates who secure work will receive a wage incentive of RM500 a month, for a duration of two years.”

And to persuade firms already reluctant to hire these people, Lim offered employers RM300 monthly for each new hire under the [email protected] scheme for a two-year period.

The other three job creation initiatives were definitely more positive – especially the government’s move to create some 33,000 employment opportunities for women aged between 30-50, to encourage them to join the job market and venture into business.

National Council of Women’s Organisation Malaysia (NCWO) president Prof Tan Sri Dr Sharifah Hapsah Syed Hasan Shahabudin said the RM500 incentive for two years for women aged 30 to 50 who return to work will help reduce their domestic burden and responsibilities.

“This initiative is balanced with incentives to lighten their domestic burden such as by expanding quality child care service.”

Lim said the [email protected] initiative give special focus to women who have stopped working for a year or more.

Under this programme, returning women workers would be paid a RM500 wage incentive a month for two years, while employers will be given a hiring incentive of RM300 per month for two years.

In addition, Lim said the current income tax exemption for women who return to work after a career break will be extended for four years until 2023.

Sharifah Hapsah said the allocation of RM500m as guaranteed facility for women entrepreneurs via Syarikat Jaminan Pembiayaan Perniagaan Bhd also proved the government was sensitive to the problems faced by women workers and entrepreneurs.

Meanwhile, Women’s Aid Organisation executive director Sumitra Visvanathan said the organisation was extremely pleased over the government decision to introduce several incentives to encourage them to increase their participation in the workforce.

“Malaysia needs to increase women’s participation in the workforce to boost the economy and also to ensure women’s workers rights are protected as well. Currently, more than 2,563,800 women in Malaysia are not working due as they have to shoulder family responsibilities at home.”

Similarly, the [email protected] initiative is a good start to the nation shifting away from low-cost foreign labour.

Lim announced a wage incentive of either RM350 or RM500 monthly for Malaysians hired to replace foreign workers, with employers getting RM250 monthly – both for a two-year period.

Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman described these initiatives as underpinning a 2020 Youth Budget capable of driving positive development for youths especially in providing quality employment opportunities.

He said there were many improvements planned by the government via Budget 2020 including the injection of a special RM6.5 billion fund to create 350,000 employment opportunities next year.

“At the same time, it is not just about new employment opportunities as we also see Education and Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) which is very close to the needs of youths especially those from B40 families with an increase of RM200 million.

“This does not include increase in allowance for TVET students by RM100 per month. This is the direction we want,” he said when met at Parliament lobby after the budget tabling.

– with Bernama input