600,000 Malaysians already in 3D sector, but not at home

  • Nation
  • Wednesday, 17 Feb 2016

Foreign labourers working at a construction site in Kuala Lumpur. - Filepic

KUALA LUMPUR: The notion that Malaysians refuse to work dirty, dangerous and difficult (3D) jobs is untrue because many are already employed in these jobs overseas, said a group of non-governmental organisations.

Pertubuhan Rapat Malaysia president A. Rajaretinam said the most likely reason Malaysians did not want to take up 3D jobs in their home country was the low salary package.

“Our records show that there are around 600,000 Malaysians working in Singapore in 3D sectors. If they can do such jobs across the border, they can do it here, too.

“The problem is, why would they want to work for a salary of RM900 when Singapore pays them $1,000 a month for the same job?” he told a press conference Wednesday.

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi had recently announced that 1.5 million Bangladeshi workers will be brought into Malaysia over a period of three years to work in the plantation, manufacturing, construction and service sectors.

This sparked public concerns about the heavy influx of foreign workers in Malaysia, as well as lower job opportunities for locals, to which Dr Ahmad Zahid challenged more Malaysians to take up 3D jobs.

Meanwhile, at the same press conference, Coalition of Indian NGOs co-chairman K. Arumugam urged the Government to increase the minimum wage for 3D jobs.

“They will be willing to do menial jobs, but you have to pay them well. At least RM1,500 is a reasonable monthly income, so those employed can still manage their families,” he said.

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