Malaysia’s Prime Minister wants the workforce to take up 3D – dirty, dangerous and difficult – jobs.
Speaking at the Labour Day celebration at Putrajaya International Convention Centre on Wednesday (May 1), Mahathir Mohamad admitted that while those who worked 3D jobs were not well paid, their jobs were vital to the development of the country, Malay Mail reported.
Malay Mail quoted Mahathir as saying: “It is a low salary but if they don’t work, there’s no salary at all. They have to choose. If they work, they will still get a salary.”
When asked if employers would pay higher salaries for 3D jobs, the Prime Minister said that the government could not dictate pay levels in the private sector.
“We can’t compel (employers to pay more) but we have to remember, we work for the nation to develop our country. If we don’t work, someone else will get our money and we will be at a loss,” Mahathir was quoted by Malay Mail as saying.
Free Malaysia Today said the Prime Minister also addressed Malaysians’ concerns on the increasing numbers of foreign workers in the country at the same event.
He warned Malaysians that if they did not do the work, foreign workers would take their place.
Mahathir said: “We will then become poor. People with no jobs will have no salary. You must remember. We work for the country. To help it develop. If we do not want to work, the money goes elsewhere,” Free Malaysia Today reported.
Assuring Malaysians that they would get priority for jobs, Mahathir added that measures were already being taken to ensure that foreign workers would only be employed in industries not well received by locals, like 3D jobs.
“But I also need to state that the presence of migrant workers in the country is a result of our attitude in not wanting to perform certain jobs even when we are capable of doing so,” Free Malaysia Today reported Mahathir as saying.
“Hence, the jobs are then taken up by foreign workers. In the end, they become rich, and we remain where we are, or become poorer,” Mahathir added.
At the same event, Human Resources Minister M. Kulasegaran announced that several labour laws in the country would be amended to strengthen and give more protection to workers and also encourage productivity, New Straits Times reported.
Kulasegaran also said that the ministry is confident to present the amended laws in the coming sitting of Parliament in June.
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