KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 17 — Malaysians turn down employment opportunities in 3D (dangerous, dirty and difficult) industries not because of the small salaries but because the jobs are often construed as lowly or demeaning, the Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF) said.

MEF executive director Datuk Shamsuddin Bardan said Malaysians typically avoid working in sectors like agriculture or any industry that involves manual labour because society does not view them as highly-respected career choices.

“Malaysians shun 3D jobs not because of low wages. The 3D jobs are looked down socially and people doubt the 3D jobs are given any recognition,” he told Malay Mail Online when contacted.

He said in order to encourage more locals into 3D sectors, these industries must be modernised and mechanised, and must provide better job incentives.


“We can encourage locals to perform the 3D jobs. However the way the jobs are performed needs to be transformed.

“Greater mechanisation and modernisation needs to be introduced and implemented. Government, employers, trade union and employees need to work closer to transform the way we perform our works in the 3D sector,” he added.

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi had on Sunday challenged local youths to take over the 3D jobs to reduce the country’s dependence on foreign workers, who are seen as dominating the plantation, manufacturing, construction, and cleaning service sectors.


He was addressing concerns raised over Putrajaya’s planned intake of 1.5 million Bangladeshi workers.

Ahmad Zahid’s call was later echoed by Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin who also claimed that youths here were disinterested in those sectors, resulting in employers turning towards foreign workers.