PUTRAJAYA, May 2 — Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad confirmed today there was a proposal to the Cabinet to provide RM6 billion in allowances and salaries to assist fresh graduates at work.
However, he said no decision has been made as the government has to study the proposal first.
“We will study to see if we have enough money, and if the government can provide subsidies or otherwise,” Dr Mahathir said during the launching of the BOCE Malaysia/Asean Digital e-Commerce Platform at the Putrajaya International Convention Centre.
He said the proposal entailed the subsidies would be provided to the workers via their employers.
“Companies can volunteer to participate if they want to,” Dr Mahathir said when asked if it would be compulsory for employers to do so.
The prime minister said the proposal was one of the matters discussed during the special Cabinet meeting yesterday on reducing Malaysia’s dependency on foreign workers.
“Among the reasons foreigners come in to work is because we ourselves do not want to work those jobs.
“This could be due to the low pay, but if the pay is high than more locals will come in to work the jobs,” Dr Mahathir said, adding in this manner income will rise and the dependency on foreign workers will fall.
Sin Chew Daily reported yesterday that the RM6 billion would provide assistance for some 50,000 fresh graduates between the ages of 20 and 30, via subsidies of RM700 to RM1,000.
The government would carry out the subsidisation for a period of two years, after which employers can continue hiring the workers or they can seek employment elsewhere with the accumulated work experience.