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Parliamentary updates: PM Mahathir on unemployment, new Bill by HR Ministry, and more

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In Parliament yesterday, Malaysia's Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad urged that local youths should hone characteristics that would be ideal to employees, as quoted in an article shared on the Prime Minister's website.

Some of these ideal characteristics he cited include being 'committed', 'diligent', 'resilient', and 'capable of working in a team', in his response to Member of Parliament Ma'mun Sulaiman's question on how the government planned to lower the youth unemployment rate and help them secure jobs.

These youths should also possess a strong desire to learn, a proactive attitude, as well as the ability to work under pressure, he added.

Further, citing the reasons for a youth unemployment rate of 10.9% in 2018, PM Mahathir said: "Among the factors identified to have contributed to youth unemployment in Malaysia were inadequate skills, qualifications and work experience, as well as unmatched skill sets."

He then went on to talk about Malaysia's unemployment rate last year (3.3%), stating that this is "still in the full employment category."

"According to the definition given by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development 1999, countries with unemployment rates below four per cent are categorised as having full employment."

In line with the above statements, PM Mahathir assured that the government has undertaken various initiatives aimed at tackling these issues. For instance, there is JobsMalaysia which matches skills to candiates, the Graduate Enhancement Programme for Employability to develop unemployed graduates' skills, and more.

Kulasegaran tables new Bill for industrial sector

In other Parliamentary news, Human Resources Minister M Kulasegaran tabled a bill in Parliament yesterday, to make it compulsory for employers to provide centralised accommodation for employees across industrial sectors.

As reported by The Starthe Workers' Minimum Standards of Housing and Amenities (Amendment) 2019 Bill will also see more fines being imposed on "errant employers".

In summary, these are the key amendments HR should expect about the Bill:

  • An increase in penalties, from the current maximum of RM1,000 and RM2,000 to a new maximum of RM50,000.
  • A higher fine of RM1,000 imposed per day, up from RM100 per day.
  • The Bill is also seeking to get employers to provide a nursery for dependants of employees, if they "collectively have at least five dependants under the age of four living with them."
  • Employers should provide accommodation that compliance with minimum standards under the Act/regulations.

National Entrepreneurship Policy 2030 launched for B40 group

Apart from the above, PM Mahathir yesterday launched the National Entrepreneurship Policy 2030 (NEP 2030), to empower an entrepreneurial culture amongst the B40 group, Bernama reported.

The NEP 2030 outlines seven core thrusts which include improving the labour market, enhancing social wellbeing and social capital, generating new growth sectors.

Photo / 123RF

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