An employer told me that local Malay male workers have serious absenteeism issue. The factory’s or company’s operation is disrupted whenever a worker is absent without notice.
Local bosses prefer foreign workers is not solely due to low wages, the work ethics is their main concern.
This observation is true in 80s because my elder brother did hire a few local Malay workers for a school construction project in Lenga. They came to work at their pleasure and absent to work is a norm.
Since nothing has changed for better in work ethics for Malay workers after 40 years of NEP.
Nevertheless, any reason to hire foreign workers to replace local workers is unacceptable, the employers have to come out better salary, conducive working environment, flexible working hour and reduce manual operations.
How to attract local workers to tough jobs
THERE are legitimate concerns raised over the minimum wage for foreign workers.
It is true that foreign workers will be earning more than the locals since on top of their salary, they are given housing allowance, transport and meals. The second concern is that too much of our money will be flowing out of the country.
I also read that there are some 70,000 unemployed graduates and I can only assume there are probably thousands more locals without degrees who are seeking employment.
My suggestion is that we should hire more locals and reduce our dependency on foreigners. This way, not much money will be flowing out of the country and the new wages with all the allowances will be able to attract locals to compete for the jobs.
The argument that locals do not wish to work in certain sectors does not make sense.
I personally know many locals who are willing to do demanding jobs if they can get a decent wage.
I watched a documentary once that revealed that one of the highest paid persons in London in the old days was the guy who cleaned the sewers. As an employer, whenever I advertise a job slightly above minimum wage, I get a lot of applicants.
I believe if the employers are willing to fork out a reasonable sum for wages, enough to afford a home, pay the bills and put food on the table for a family, I’m sure they will easily find locals to fill their vacancies.
We should not be relying on cheap labour to make money but come up with innovative ways to be more productive.
Another alternative is to invest in machines and new cost-saving technologies.There is just too much uncertainty if we continue with our old ways of hiring workers, even in the industries we feel are not attractive to our own people.