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Leaders in the infocomm and technology (ICT) sector may need to focus on their local compensation structures if they wish to avoid their employees from leaving.
According to the ICT Job Market Outlook 2014, conducted by National ICT Association of Malaysia (PIKOM), Kuala Lumpur is ranked 53rd out of the 70 countries polled in terms of its remuneration scale.
While Australia and USA topped the global list, the survey found Vietnam and Hong Kong led the salary scale in Asia.
Local ICT salaries in Vietnam and Hong Kong were 2.19 and 2.12 times higher than Malaysia respectively in terms of PPP, which takes into account inflation, foreign exchange rates and standards of living.
Commenting on the widening gap in the remunerations of ICT practitioners between Malaysia and other countries, PIKOM’s chairman, Cheah Kok Hoong, highlighted a “continuing concern on the potential issue of ‘brain drain’ within the industry.”
“If this continues, it can potentially impact the national agenda under the 10th Malaysia Plan (10MP) which aims to boost skilled workers’ percentage up to 33% by 2015 and as much as 50% by 2020 with the objective to turn Malaysia into a high income economy”, he added.
The report highlighted, however, that average ICT salaries in Malaysia had increased by 7.2% in 2013, from RM6,673 to RM7,152 in 2012.
Senior managers registered the highest pay rise of 9.6%, followed by senior executives at 7.5%, while junior executives and managers enjoyed a 7.3% and 7.2% increase respectively.
Fresh graduates also enjoyed a 4.6% rise with an average salary of RM2,451 in 2013, according to the report.
Typical salaries of ICT professionals in major cities like Kuala Lumpur and Cyberjaya were also found to be 1.75 times higher than of those who worked in smaller cities and towns in Malaysia.