IPOH: Every Malaysian has the right to choose the job they want, says Human Resources Minister M. Kulasegaran (pic).
He said it was not a question of being fussy but Malaysians should be able to choose how they make a living.
"The main issue is that salaries offered are too low.
"People want to choose jobs and it's their right to do so – just like who we want to marry," he told reporters after visiting the Mekprasit Buddhist temple in conjunction with Wesak Day at Jalan Kuala Kangsar here Tuesday (May 29).
"A lot of jobs do not pay well so it doesn't attract people. An initial study showed that since the implementation of the minimum wage, more people are coming back to work here," he said.
Kulasegaran was asked to comment about the perception that locals were not willing to take certain jobs and the need for foreign workers to fill these positions.
Last week, he said that the ministry would review the country's policy towards foreign workers, which would allow their employment out of necessity but priority would be given to locals.
On that matter, Kulasegarn said it was like comparing "apples and oranges".
"You cannot ask Malaysians to compare their salaries with foreign workers here.
"There are '3D' (dirty, difficult and dangerous) jobs like in the plantation industry, it is basically hard labour and the non-interest by Malaysians is not unusual.
"There are also jobs in hotels or other industries where Malaysians can work without the need to hire foreigners. Sometimes, it's also about supply and demand," he added.
Kulasegarn added that it costs a lot to hire foreign workers because of middlemen.
"The middlemen take a bulk of the profit from employers and employees. This needs to be reviewed," he said.
"The work force is the most important thing in the country. There are millions of workers but Malaysians always come first and we need to ensure they are best placed," he added.
Did you find this article insightful?