Maszlee: Industries need to study issue on graduates’ starting salary

Education Minister Maszlee Malik speaks during the Asian Strategy & Leadership Institute’s open dialogue in Sunway on February 14, 2019. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon
Education Minister Maszlee Malik speaks during the Asian Strategy & Leadership Institute’s open dialogue in Sunway on February 14, 2019. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

KUALA LUMPUR, March 30 — The Education Ministry says it is up to the industries offering job opportunities to study the issue on the decline in fresh graduates’ starting salary.

“With regards to the drop in salary you will have to ask the industries because they are the ones providing employment,” said its minister Maszlee Malik.

“We (the ministry) do not handle salaries but what we can do is prepare highly-skilled graduates who are more trained, knowledgeable and competitive for the local and international job markets,” he told reporters after launching the 2019 Kuala Lumpur International Book Festival at the Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC) today.

Last Thursday, Mazlee in a statement said that the ministry would cooperate with various parties and agencies to look into ways to solve the issue.

He said he had taken note of the 2018 Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) Annual Report released recently as well as media reports on “Graduates’ Declining Salary”

The media in quoting the BNM Annual report stated that the actual starting monthly salary for most fresh graduates in the country had been declining since 2010 after taking into account the inflation factor.

The real monthly salary for fresh graduates holding a diploma was RM1,376 in 2018 compared to RM1,458 in 2010.

The real monthly salary for degree holders was RM1,983 in 2018 compared to RM1,993 in 2010 while that for Master’s degree holders was RM2,707 in 2018 compared to RM2,923 in 2010.

In another development, Maszlee in his speech said that the international book fair had introduced a specific section, which is a booth for World Book Capital and which has the potential to attract the community to make Kuala Lumpur the world’s main knowledge hub.

“It is a recognition accorded by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) to the city which shows the highest commitment in organising book activities, promotions and readings.

The 2019 international book fair being held from March 29 to April 7 will promote the reduction of plastic bag consumption as well as cashless transactions for book purchases.

The 38th edition of the international book fair is organised by the Malaysian National Book Council together with six Malaysian book publishing associations.

The 10-day mega event also targets to attract 1.5 million visitors to its 700 booths involving more than 200 local and international publishers, including from Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Brunei and Singapore. — Bernama