KUALA LUMPUR, Apr 6 — Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri M. Saravanan has conceded today that the monthly salary of between RM1,000 and RM1,500 reportedly received by the majority of fresh graduates is no longer enough in today’s economy.
“If someone can live with a salary of RM1,001 to RM1,500 [a month], it’s a miracle; I believe even foreign workers would not be able to survive with that kind of salary.
“I totally agree that the range is irrelevant. As the HR minister, it will not be smart for me to say that a salary between RM1,001 and RM1,500 is enough,” he said when asked to comment if pay packets of such size were sufficient in today’s market.
“The minimum you need is around RM3,000, otherwise it becomes irrelevant; I do not think even foreign workers can survive in the city with a RM1,500 salary,” he added.
Adding on, Saravanan however still urged those without jobs not to be picky when looking for opportunities, especially during the current economic uncertainty.
“My only advice is to try to see what you can do rather than staying unemployed,” he added.
He made the comments at the KL Convention Centre here earlier this evening, after launching the Human Resource Development Fund Placement Centre job placement and up-skilling programme.
This after a recent report from the Statistics Department revealed the majority of graduates who entered the job market last year received a monthly salary of between RM1,001 and RM1,500 compared to the average of RM2,001 to RM2,500 recorded in 2019.
It also said the number of graduates who entered the employment market also dropped last year, as well as the labour force participation rate among young graduates.
Yesterday, Saravanan had merely said that the current economic downturn is among the factors contributing to the low salary.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Economy) Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed also recently said that the starting salary for graduates entering the job market is expected to be higher by the next three or four months with the country’s economy seen recovering.
He said the government was aware that the salary received by new graduates last year was low and attributed the situation to the Covid-19 pandemic, which adversely affected the country’s economic growth, as well as globally.