Let those over 60 continue working, MEF suggests to govt advisery panel

The Malaysian Employers Federation executive director Datuk Shamsuddin Bardan speaks to reporters outside the Ilham Tower in Kuala Lumpur July 6, 2018. — Picture by Firdaus Latif
The Malaysian Employers Federation executive director Datuk Shamsuddin Bardan speaks to reporters outside the Ilham Tower in Kuala Lumpur July 6, 2018. — Picture by Firdaus Latif

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KUALA LUMPUR, June 6 — The Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF) wants the government to consider extending the employment age beyond 60 for those interested to do so.

Its executive director Datuk Shamsuddin Bardan said MEF made the proposal to the Council of Eminent Persons today, alongside a suggestion to do more to increase the participation of women in the workforce to 60 per cent. It is which currently at 51 per cent.

“If we have a rehiring policy for those above 60 years old to work up to 65 years old, we would have an additional one million people who can continue working.

“Increasing the women’s participation in the workforce would also increase an additional one million we can have an additional 2 million in the workforce, which currently is not being used very much,” he told reporters here.

Shamsuddin said the group also suggested that local workers should not be paid a minimum wage, but should instead be paid wages based on their certified skills.

However, he said the number of skilled workers in Malaysia is much lower than other developed countries, which currently stands at 30 per cent, while other developed countries have about 50 per cent skilled workers.

He said the government aspires to increase it to 40 per cent by 2020.

“I personally do not think it is going to be achieved because employees don’t see any money attached to skills certification. That is why we have to link wages with certified skills so there is value to each certification,” he said.

Shamduddin said though the Pakatan Harapan government plans to increase the minimum wage to RM1,500 , he said the aspiration would happen in stages for the next five years, which he said the Federal administration should bear 50 per cent of the cost.

“They were receptive of the idea but of course we have to take it back to the industries and stakeholders and have proper discussion on the matter.

“The government can then be fully briefed on what we acquired from the private sector and from there we will move forward,” he said.

MEF president Tan Sri Azman Shah Haron who also met the panel today told reporters the government needs to clarify its employment policies. 

“The current policies are not coherent and are coming from different ministries. This has led to some taking advantage over the situation and unfortunately, it is not for the better of the country,” he told the press after meeting with the Council of Eminent Persons at Ilham Tower here.

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