IPOH: The government will study the suggestion by the Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) to raise the mandatory retirement age to 65, says M. Kulasegaran.
The Human Resources Minister said MTUC's suggestion for a monthly RM500 cost of living allowance (COLA) for all workers would also be discussed.
“The suggestions will be discussed in detail with the Finance Ministry before we make any decisions.
“My ministry has given our views to the Finance Ministry on the matter, and thus in-depth discussions will be carried out soon, ” he told reporters at a tree-planting event at D.R. Seenivasagam Park here on Monday (Sept 2).
Present at the event were Kepayang assemblyman Dr Ko Chung Sen and Ipoh Mayor Datuk Ahmad Suaidi Abdul Rahim.
On Sunday, MTUC secretary-general J. Solomon had made the suggestions, stating it was the government’s responsibility to lower the cost of living to enable a decent living as commodity prices continued to go up and never came down.
In calling for higher retirement age, he had cited the lack of sufficient income to sustain life after retirement due to the expected increase in life expectancy in the future to 80.
Kulasegaran added that Singapore had recently announced the retirement age to 65
“There will be some announcements made during the Budget next month, ” he added.
He said the unemployment rate stood at 3.3%, and that the graduate and youth unemployment must be addressed.
“I keep emphasising that our younger generation who are unemployed should take the opportunity to get vocational training at the various Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) centres.
“With such skills in hand, plenty of jobs are waiting for them, ” he added.
Kulasegaran said recently seven Orang Asli youth, who joined a TVET centre in Ipoh, went back for the holidays to their village, and got three more of their friends to join the centre.
“Usually when they go back for holidays, the chances of them returning is slim, but this is a success story.
“To give a chance to working adults to get skills training, the ministry has asked TVETs to schedule classes after 5.30pm as well, ” he added.