Malaysians fear robots will steal their jobs, says study

  • Nation
  • Thursday, 18 Apr 2019

PETALING JAYA: Many Malaysians believe that robots and automation could take over their jobs in the future.

A study by YouGov Omnibus revealed that 29% of the 1,009 Malaysians surveyed believe robots could replace them at work.

The study also found seven in 10 (69%) think that robots and automation will lead to a loss of jobs in the overall economy.

The other three (31%) however believe the adoption of technology will lead to jobs being created.

The study also revealed that young Malaysians aged between 18 and 24 are the most concerned group about machines taking over their jobs, with four in 10 (45%) thinking it is possible.

However, only 18% or two in 10 of older Malaysians above 45 years old believe robots could replace them.

The survey also found that 33% of low-income earners, those earning less than RM4,000 a month, believe they are more likely to be replaced by robots than those earning more than RM8,000 a month.

About half or 49% of those surveyed also believe that robots will have some sort of effect on their jobs, with 30% of them thinking that this can happen in the next five years.

The other 30% foresee that this could only be happening between five and 10 years. One in three believe that it will take a decade or more for this to be a reality.

Only 4% of those surveyed already see their roles being affected by robots.

The poll also found that 96% of Malaysians use technology in their role, with two in 10 saying that their job “very much involves technology”.

About 55% of the respondents surveyed also said they are learning additional skills in technology.

It further pointed out that 75% of the respondents who believe that they are “very likely” to be replaced are already upskilling themselves.

Asia Pacific’s YouGov Omnibus chief Jake Gammon said it was interesting to see the wide gaps in the survey.

“The question will be whether Malaysians are able to adapt to upcoming changes in the workforce,” said Gammon.


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