KUALA LUMPUR, June 14 — Human Resources Minister Steven Sim Chee Keong has raised critical concerns about the current global social contract that predominantly benefits powerful nations while disadvantaging smaller countries.

In a statement posted on X (formerly Twitter), Sim highlighted the inequities of a global social contract favoring major world powers, adding that he had addressed this issue in his speech at the 112th International Labour Conference held in Geneva on Wednesday.

“I have also advocated for the Malaysia Madani concept, drawing inspiration from the Medina Charter, which prioritises justice, shared prosperity and unity.

Meanwhile, in his speech at the conference, the minister said the current growth model nationalises gains in the hands of the few superpowers, while imposing the burden of regulations, responsibilities, cost and even lopsided morality upon the rest of the world.

In Malaysia’s context, Sim noted that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim introduced the Madani Economic Framework a year ago and the country is pursuing new areas of growth in high-tech sectors, artificial intelligence (AI), energy transition and the green economy.

He said last year, Malaysia recorded a historic high in the value of new investments approved into the country.

“Madani means the outcome of economic prosperity must include upholding human dignity. Which is why, in this 112th International Labour Conference, I am proud to represent Malaysia to ratify the Occupational Safety and Health Convention, C155.

“This coincides with the recent enforcement of an amended Occupational Safety and Health legislation in Malaysia which among others, expanded the coverage of occupational safety and health law from previously 10 sectors to now all economic sectors in our country.

“Our aspiration is that every worker, after a workday, will be able to return home safely to their families and loved ones,” he said.

Sim also stressed that lifelong, accessible skills training should be recognised as a fundamental right.

He added that with the constantly evolving job landscape of the 21st century, such training is crucial for career advancement and transition.

“In less than two weeks, Malaysia will host a National Training Week, offering over 25,000 free skills courses to more than 200,000 people.

“We hope the ILO will continue prioritising lifelong learning and skills training to enhance workers’ lives globally,” Sim said. — Bernama