KUALA LUMPUR: Housewives should not be left out of the social protection net as they too are workers contributing to the economy when they manage their households, says the Prime Minister.
Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said plans such as the Housewife Social Security Scheme (SKSSR) implemented by the Social Security Organisation (Socso) are trademarks of an advanced nation that cares for all in the society.
“This government is committed to raising the status of women. What kind of a husband are you if you cannot even pay RM10 to provide a protection scheme for your wife who takes care of you?” he said.
The SKSSR began on Dec 1 last year to protect housewives from domestic accidents and invalidity.
To participate in the scheme, a contribution of RM120 to cover a period of 12 months must be paid in advance.
Contributions can be made by the husband, housewife, family or any third party for the housewife.
Under the scheme, a housewife is defined as “a woman whether married or unmarried, who manages the household on a full-time or part-time basis, including a wife, mother, divorcee, widow or a single mother”.
Speaking at the launch of the SKSSR and MyFutureJobs Career Carnival 2023 at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre here yesterday, Anwar called for better cooperation between government and employers to ensure all workers are protected should they be injured or become invalid during the course of their work.
He also spoke about the country having to move forward and that “old methods will not bring new changes.”
“Change must happen now. When there are crises, such as the Ukraine-Russian war, the Turkiye-Syrian earthquake, the strain in the US-China relationship, we must prepare ourselves as we, too, tend to get splattered by the consequences.
“We talk about post-normal times (post-Covid-19) but we tend to keep to the old ways. We will then not be able to embrace change. We need to be competitive. We have to use the destruction (that we face) to be creative with new methods,” said Anwar.
He cited how Vietnam and Laos were among countries that had managed to soar in “post-destruction” times.
On the calls by the plantation industry to bring in more foreign workers, Anwar said that industry players should look into mechanisation and increase the wages of the skilled workers who handle the machines to attract more Malaysian job-seekers.
“The productivity must continue while waiting for workers,” he added.
At the same event, Anwar also presented SKSSR certificates to 10 individuals.
Three other next-of-kin of housewives who had joined the scheme but passed away since then, received funeral benefits and survivor’s pensions.
Also present at the event yesterday were Human Resources Minister V. Sivakumar, Socso chief executive Datuk Seri Dr Mohammed Azman Aziz, heads of Human Resources Ministry agencies and top corporate individuals.