Kula: Govt will study proposals


For cleaner air: Kulasegaran (in blue), Ahmad Suaidi (on Kulasegaran’s right) and other officials watching schoolchildren planting trees at D.R. Seenivasagam park in Ipoh, Perak.

IPOH: The government will study the suggestion by the Malaysian Trade Union Congress (MTUC) to raise the mandatory retirement age to 65, said Human Resources Minister M. Kulasegaran.

Kulasegaran said MTUC’s suggestion for a cost of living allowance (Cola) of RM500 for all workers would also be discussed at the same time.

“The suggestions will be discussed in detail with the Finance Ministry to determine its viability and so on.

“My ministry has given our views to the Finance Ministry on the matter and in-depth discussions will be carried out soon before the Budget announcement, ” Kulasegaran told reporters during a tree-planting event held at D.R. Seenivasagam park here yesterday.

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 made the suggestion

on the monthly Cola allowance, stating it was the government’s responsibility to lower the cost of living.

In calling for a higher retirement age, he 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 recently announced the raising of the retirement age to 65 (by around 2030).

“There will be some announcements made during Budget next month, ” he said, adding that the unemployment rate stood at 3.3%, and that the issue of graduate and youth unemployment must be addressed.

“I keep emphasising that our younger generation who are unemployed should take the opportunity to get skills 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 seven Orang Asli youths who joined a TVET centre in Ipoh went back to their village for a holiday recently and got three more of their friends to join the centre.

“Usually, when they go back for holidays, the chances of them returning are slim but this was a success story.“To give working adults a chance to get skills training, the ministry has requested TVETs open for classes after 5.30pm as well.”


   

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