PETALING JAYA: In defending his suggestion that Malaysians take on two jobs to cope with the rising cost of living, Datuk Ahmad Maslan says he meant it in the context of having an online business on top of a day job.
He said he himself has three jobs - member of parliament, deputy minister in the International Trade and Industry and Umno information chief.
“I have three jobs: member of parliament, deputy minister, and Umno information chief. There are already many people in Malaysia who do #2kerja. (They are) working hard to find halal income,” he said on Tuesday, using the hashtag #2kerja, which translates as “two jobs.”
“If your existing job is during the day, you can manage an online business at night or during weekends as long as your performance isn’t affected; it can increase income,” he posted.
Earlier, Ahmad sparked a backlash with his remarks at a function with Johor entrepreneurs on Saturday, that it was normal for those living in rural areas to have multiple jobs.
Ahmad, the Pontian MP, pointed out that "some tap rubber in the morning and farm in the evening, while others cut grass in the morning and build homes in the evening."
Ahmad, however, clarified a report in Astro Awani with a headline suggesting that the government was encouraging people to work two jobs.
"I mentioned that the Ministry encourages online business as a means to increase income and is the current trend in commerce. The Astro Awani headline is inaccurate," he added.
“#2kerja There are rules which need to be followed for those who have fixed jobs, so follow them. But for those who work for themselves, there’s no issue,” he tweeted.
Ahmad also took a swipe at his critics, pointing out that even Oppositions leaders had more than one job.
“#2kerja Lim Guan Eng - state assemblyman, MP, and Chief Minister. Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail - state assemblyman, MP, Opposition leader. Three jobs. I suggested existing job + online business. Angry?” he said.