Labour Day 2014 message — Liow Tiong Lai

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APRIL 30 — Labour Day on 1 May every year marks the struggle of workers battling for employee welfare and safeguarding their rights. Workers are essential to national and social development. Their contribution determines the prosperity of a nation. We, at MCA, salute you and wish you all a meaningful Happy Labour Day.

As the world enters the 21st century, globalisation has expanded. The relationship between employers and employees too has undergone great changes. If Labour Day in the past was a campaign of struggle, Labour Day today means self-improvement, self-development and a pursuit of competitiveness for both employers and employees.

In our modern society today, the capital for competition between nations is talent. Workers not only supply physical contribution but also intellectual input of knowledge, creativity and wisdom. What workers want now is no longer basic working conditions but an environment that allows them to excel and exert their creativity, abilities and skills, to prove and surpass themselves. In other words, the working relationship between employers and employees is not limited by a situation of master and servant but a situation where they can complement each other for success.

Hence, a successful enterprise appreciates talent. A farsighted Government will work towards an open, free and improved environment to attract talent. In such a competitive era, our national policy must not only focus in nurturing talent but to also provide them the platform to unleash their capability, so that the nation can move faster towards its high income nation goal.

The launching of the Malaysian Global Innovation and Creative Centre (MaGIC) by United States President Barrack Obama during his visit to Malaysia last week, shows the Malaysian Government’s effort in appreciating and nurturing our local talent. MaGIC provides funds to support the innovative and creative industries, registration of intellectual property, training and guidance; supports companies involved in creative multimedia, research and development and data management.

In this aspect, MCA will continue to aid the nation in grooming talent. Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman and Tunku Abdul Rahman University College founded by MCA have respectively trained more than 25,000 and 180,000 students, the two varsities will continue to provide affordable and quality tertiary education to our next generation, to instil an attitude of self-initiative and improvement in ensuring a seamless coordination with the national human resources training policy.

MCA will work harder in the education sector to win back public support; for self enhancement of the various communities and the prosperity of the nation. MCA will continue to lead the initiative to cultivate talent.

To MCA, labour means the treasury of the nation, the capital of society. Growing talent and upgrading the quality of labour is our commitment to the nation and society.

* Dato' Sri Liow Tiong Lai is president of the MCA.

** This is the personal opinion of the writer and does not necessarily represent the views of The Malay Mail Online.

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