Dr M wants more interns, but companies won’t be forced to pay them

Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad speaks during the Apec CEO Summit 2018 at Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea November 17, 2018. — Reuters pic
Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad speaks during the Apec CEO Summit 2018 at Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea November 17, 2018. — Reuters pic

PORT MORESBY, Nov 18 — Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad called today for the placement of more interns in other industries like engineering and accountancy, besides medicine.

The prime minister said he had stressed at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) 2018 summit here the importance of education and internships to train graduates so they are qualified for their jobs.

“After we get a degree, we should be going through a period of training before we are qualified, like doctors have to have housemanship. Other industries and businesses also — engineering — must be placed in some companies where they study the actual work to be done,” Dr Mahathir told a press conference at the Apec summit here in the Papua New Guinea capital.

“If can, we post those people, two years’ work. If engineering with engineering firm, if accountancy with accountancy firm. Doctors are like that — doctors cannot qualify until they finish their housemanship. For others, we call it internship,” added the doctor by training.

When asked if companies would be required to pay their interns, Dr Mahathir said: “We will see how companies respond. We’re not going to force (them).”

Dr Mahathir said he told a retreat by Apec leaders earlier today that Malaysia wanted to learn new technology and the knowledge-based industry.

He added that the United State had also said at the retreat that education was important to prepare people for the fourth industrial revolution.

“You have to understand digital technology, understanding of e-commerce, and everything, and understanding basically of all the new knowledge, which you can introduce, which has a lot of possibilities for new businesses. If you don’t understand, then you’ll miss out.”

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