Syed Saddiq assumes older generation holding on to good jobs, high salaries, says MCA

  • Nation
  • Tuesday, 03 Sep 2019

PETALING JAYA: Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman's rejection of a proposal to extend the retirement age from 60 to 65 is immature and suggests that the older generation is holding on to the good jobs, says MCA.

Its central committee member Chan Quin Er said Syed Saddiq, who is also Muar MP, had allegedly misrepresented the facts to suggest that employees, in their late 40s and above, hogged all the high position posts and earn lofty salaries and perks.

"Not all are fortunate and it is age discriminatory to make sweeping generalisations as there are middle-aged persons or those close to retirement, who toil the long hours but just eke a humble wage of under RM5,000," she said in a statement on Tuesday (Sept 3).

Chan said that Syed Saddiq must also consider that only 22% of contributors to the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) have enough to sustain them throughout their retirement and about 85% of Malaysian retirees do not have enough to sustain their lifestyle or keep up with the ever-growing cost of living.

She added that while Syed Saddiq cited that Malaysian youth unemployment rate of 10.7% is higher compared with developed nations such as Japan (3.9%) and Singapore (5.9%), he needs to bear in mind that those countries also have higher retirement ages.

Japan, she said, had gradually increased the retirement age to 68 while Singapore is mulling to extend it from 63 to 65.

She added that extending the retirement age could also have some social benefits, as enabling those in their 60s to be gainfully employed will reduce the financial burden which younger adults feel are levied on them in having to care for their parents.

Doing so could also reduce the elderly's dependency on the Social Welfare Department and the Health Ministry.

"There are also senior citizens who are unmarried or without children. Being gainfully employed for a longer period enables them to be financially self-reliant," she said.

On Monday (Sept 2), Syed Saddiq said he was against upping the retirement age to 65 as the move is seen as blocking youths' potential.

The Malaysian Trade Union Congress had suggested the move as part of its Budget 2020 wishlist in addition to introducing a minimum monthly cost of living allowance (Cola) of RM500.

Human Resources Minister M. Kulasegaran said the government would study the proposal to increase the retirement age.
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