Daim: Get graduates to think

October 13th, 2019

Well done: Daim receiving his scroll from Sultan Nazrin.

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia must focus on producing graduates who can think logically and be able to solve problems, says former finance minister Tun Dr Daim Zainuddin, 81.

The mismatch between the kinds of graduates we are producing and what the market wants must be addressed, he said, adding that the continuous pursuit of knowledge was crucial in achieving success, but knowledge should not be used to do bad things.

As long as you are alive, read, seek knowledge and use it for good, he told a press conference after receiving his doctorate degree scroll during the Universiti Malaya (UM) convocation ceremony here yesterday.

Daim, from the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, now holds a doctorate of philosophy after 11 years of study.

“When I started in 2008, I could walk. Now I have to use a cane. There were many challenges. When you are old, many illnesses come.

“I also had other responsibilities so I did my research off and on – when I had the time, ” he said.

His thesis is titled “The Implementation of The New Economic Policy: Success and Failure, 1970 – 2008”.

The most important thing is to learn so we do not repeat those failures and where there are successes, we must take advantage of them, he said.

Success, he said, was about achievements, not making demands.

“In Malaysia, it’s not only the bumiputras who are less fortunate. There are non-Malays who are poor too. Poverty does not depend on race. Those who need help, we give them help.”

Daim’s scroll was presented by Sultan of Perak, Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah, who is also UM Chancellor.

The 59th convocation ceremony, which started yesterday, saw 6,562 students graduating from the country’s top varsity.

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We need to produce good investigative Journalists

October 13th, 2019
We need extraordinary investigative journalists to expose corruption to advance accountability and transparency.-File pic

A FEW years ago, the Panama Papers episode revealed how the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) held the rich and powerful to account.

ICIJ exposed the complex ways used by companies and individuals to conceal beneficial ownership of companies.

The files were made public by 370 investigative journalists in 76 countries working in 25 languages.

They exposed 143 politicians – 12 were national leaders – their families and close associates from around the world (including Malaysian VVIPs) who used offshore tax havens to hide their wealth.

Investigative journalism is a form of journalism which rivets the public’s attention, exposing scandals and conducting investigations into matters of public interest such as fraud and corruption.

The objective is to reveal a major injustice and to make those responsible accountable.

Some of the investigations are professional and objective and the exposes are done without fear or favour.

Corruption is a cancer.It jeopardises economic development of a nation, and weakens political stability and societal integration.

Under the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention between 1999 and 2017, two per cent or six bribery schemes resulted in sanctions after they were reported in the media.

In addition, media reporting may also launch potential investigations. The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) seized and froze more than RM2.5 billion in cash since June last year.

In order to be competent, investigative journalists need to understand the basic rule of corruption investigations, the procurement process and the common modus operandi of corrupt practices.

With regard to corrupt practices, investigative journalism must show how unethical public officials use public funds to meet their personal needs and live beyond their means.

There are many lapses which may occur during the procurement process, such as conflict of interest, misuse of power, embezzlement, fraud in the bid evaluation and bribery of public officials.

Based on complaints received by the MACC between 2013 and 2018, procurement fraud amounted to 42.8 per cent topping the list of sectors prone to corruption.

As an institution of checks and balances, the media plays an important role in fighting corruption.

According to The Guardian, media freedom around the world fell to the lowest level in a decade, whereas another study showed that journalists are threatened by government censorship and organised crime.

Based on the latest World Press Freedom Index, Malaysia is at the top of the rankings among countries in Southeast Asia, improving 22 places to 123 out of 180 countries.

There should be a vibrant and free press in a democratic system so that corruption scandals can be shared with the public.

The OECD survey on investigative journalism asked journalists to rate how safe they felt when reporting on corruption cases, with most respondents (35 per cent) indicating they felt moderately safe.

Journalists were most concerned about being sued for defamation or prosecuted for publishing classified information.

Quite a few baseless legal actions were launched to intimidate journalists, which took time to resolve and involved significant legal and psychological costs.

Journalism is facing its biggest threat ever in the fake news era.

One of the most important roles of journalists is to deal with spin and propaganda, especially in social media.

An investigative journalist must possess high integrity, ample knowledge, good investigative techniques, good public relations and write objectively.

One of the important criteria is to have good sources and to know how to get good information on corruption.

The investigative journalists rely on sources and whistle-blowers and protection of whistle-blowers based on the right to freedom of expression.

Good investigative reports clearly show the evidence and ensure the sources corroborate the allegations, thus assisting law enforcement agencies to complete investigations at a faster rate.

In order to improve the journalists’ skill in conducting investigative reporting of corruption and fraud, they should undergo specific training.

Today the investigative journalists of some countries are taking journalism to a new level by working together with data scientists to target high-profile fraudsters.

Gen Z (born in 1996 onwards) investigative journalists should take advantage of technology, data analytical frameworks and dig information from the dark web.

Interestingly, the surface web contains only four per cent of the Internet; the remaining 96 per cent is hidden in the deep dark web which can be accessed only with special software, such as the Onion Router browser.

We need to produce good investigative journalists who are brave, sincere and can unveil the truth about a particular subject, person or event based on the underlying principles of journalism.

One of the important roles of investigative journalists is to identify and stop the spread of corruption by the ‘untouchables’.

The journalists have an inherent right to protect the well-being of all citizens and society.

We need extraordinary investigative journalists to expose corruption to advance accountability and transparency.

By Datuk Seri Akhbar Satar.

Read more @ https://www.nst.com.my/opinion/columnists/2019/10/529357/we-need-produce-good-investigative-journalists

Utusan must rise with fresh Journalism

October 13th, 2019
It is hoped that the new owners of Utusan would resume publishing the newspapers but they need a new business model, with a strong foundation grounded on serious, balanced and ethical journalism. NSTP/MUSTAFFA KAMAL

SAD, but inevitable. With poor cash flow and declining sales,Utusan Malaysia and Kosmo! folded under such mounting pressure.

Both papers saw their last edition in the news stands last Wednesday.

Employees were clueless, left to fend for themselves. Information was scarce, but speculation was aplenty.

There were streams of tears as staff packed their personal belongings and took them home.

The company had appointed a liquidator to manage the company’s assets and liabilities. Once a liquidator is in, everything will be under his control.

It is sad that the group’s management had left the employees in a lurch. The least the management could have done was to face the employees and share information.

The staff have a right to know. Come on! It’s basic human courtesy to tell the staff that they are no longer employed and that they have to find work elsewhere

The employees knew their fate from a notice board; cold and impersonal.

Credit to the staff for not turning violent when they found out that they had to take home their belongings and not step into the company’s premises again.

I won’t go deep into the reasons why a one time high-circulating newspaper like the Utusan Malaysia ended up the way it did. We all know the reasons. We all know that the reason is not entirely commercial. We can argue about this forever, but this won’t help feed the employees who are now jobless.

Kosmo!,the other newspaper in the Utusan group, came much later. It was doing well, too, helmed by experienced journalists and gradually grew and gained some acceptance among the Bahasa Malaysia-reading public.

It’s never easy to sell intellectual content. A newspaper is all about intellectual content. If the content is good, consumers will buy it. And read it.

Traditionally, and basically, a newspaper survives on a 60:40 formula — 60 per cent advertisement and 40 per cent news.

Print journalism is being tested to the limit today. Multiple platforms seem to be the way forward, with emphasis on impartiality, speed and accuracy.

Reading is no longer a daily culture of the masses, and this poses a challenge to the media industry.

More importantly, this lack of a reading culture can adversely affect the nation’s long-term wellbeing.

Utusan Malaysia, more than Kosmo!, had chronicled the nation’s history

Led by some of the top names in Malaysian journalism, Utusan’s demise is tragic indeed. The blame game will continue forever.

Some journalists and editors had left earlier, some on their own and others took the early retirement option via the Voluntary Separation Scheme (VSS).

Even the VSS retirees have not been fully compensated.

Defending and promoting good journalism is not cheap. Killing it is easy. It is hoped that the new owners of Utusan and Kosmo! would resume publishing the newspapers.

They can publish both or one. But they need a new business model with a strong foundation grounded on serious, balanced and ethical journalism.

Would the staff who are now jobless be re-engaged? That’s hard to say.

Newspaper publishing requires deep pockets, enduring professionalism and bags of passion. Those involve must eat, pray, love journalism. Nothing more, nothing less.

Some may argue that the journalism at Jalan Chan Sow Lin died some years ago.

Along with it came the rejection by advertisers who saw that a one-sided newspaper may not be the best platform to promote their products and services.

The closure of the two newspapers is a lesson for all media organisations and business houses.

It is a simple reminder that there is no compromise for quality products and services.

Consumers are increasingly discerning and demanding. I’m sure those in the media fraternity realise this.

For the time being, Utusan Malaysia and Kosmo!, like Manchester United, whose track record and history are well documented and much loved, will retreat into the backwaters to lick their wounds and wounded pride.

We must wish them well.

By Ahmad A Talib.

Read more @ https://www.nst.com.my/opinion/columnists/2019/10/529359/utusan-must-rise-fresh-journalism

NSTleader: Knowledge by degrees

October 13th, 2019
Go to China if you must, if there is where knowledge resides.But just go.

THEY must have told you this: do not teach grandmothers to suck eggs. This wisdom of old is no longer true. Because they do not make grandmothers or eggs like they used to. The former needs teaching, the latter learning about. Oh, what a wonder-filled world we live in! Education has become timeless.

And the great thing about education is this: with a generous amount of it, we can age gracefully. Forget the Botox! Go get a good education. See ma, no wrinkles. Ask Tun Daim Zainuddin. Yesterday, he received his PhD from the premier ivory tower around the corner, UniversitiMalaya. At all of 81.

Education does goodly great things to you, besides arresting wrinkles. But be warned: it may cause greying of hair. Or worse, cause baldness. But then again it may be due to someone telling you jokes that make the hair drop. You get the drift. To return where we started, we need to trace our path back to the universities where we read for our first degree. Or elsewhere. Go to China if you must, if there is where knowledge resides. But just go.

Any degree will do, but we have a bias for philosophy. There are three reasons for this. One, at this age, you are old enough to handle deep questions. Be warned. Philosophy does push you to ask some really hard questions. Two, as some soul puts it, philosophy awakens the restlessness of reason. And it can be troubling.

Three, philosophy is arguably the only subject that animates debate. The NST, being itself a 24/7 forum, puts such deep and hard questions at the heart of the national debate. Our NST Insight will bear this out. Now you know why we lean towards philosophy. But we must do more than read philosophy.

We must do it. Like the ancient Greeks — from Socrates downwards— did.

But without a great teacher, philosophy will lie buried between the pages of discoloured books. The world perhaps has a few, but one stands out. Michael Sandel’s philosophy course at Harvard — Justice — is said to have inspired millions around the world. Thanks to YouTube.

These days you do not have to go to Harvard; it comes to you. In his philosophy class, Sandel helps us ask some really important questions that should concern us. One of which is: should there be things that money can’t buy?

Today, the reach of the market is terrifying. Want a baby? Just get a surrogate mother from India to carry a pregnancy at US$6,250 (RM26,187). Want the right to contribute to global warming? Just pay US$18 (RM75) for a tonne of carbon under the European Union carbon emission market in 2012 prices.

Want a place in Ivy League university for your less than stellar child? Just show the money. The list goes on. The free market capitalists have left a mark, and not a good one at that. But it is for you, as students of philosophy, to argue the moral limits of the market.

Our view is clear: there are things that should not be for sale. The market should have listened to The Beatles’ Can’t Buy Me Love. It didn’t listen then. And it is not listening now.

Read more @ https://www.nst.com.my/opinion/leaders/2019/10/529361/nstleader-knowledge-degrees

NST Leader: It’s not the platform, it’s the journalism

October 12th, 2019

A general view of the Utusan Melayu (M) Bhd office ahead of its closure on Oct 9 in Kuala Lumpur. -NSTP/Mustaffa Kamal
October 11, 2019 @ 12:00am

One newspaper’s end may not mark the death of the media industry. But it must be a cause for reflection.

All deaths, including those of inanimate newspapers, must be given the dignity they deserve. Utusan did have its good days. Of this we are certain. Otherwise, it would not have lasted this long.

All good things must come to an end, people say. We do not agree. They don’t have to. The bad can be made better; the good even better.

This Leader isn’t about Utusan. It is not even about the print media. In this debate of a death, people miss the point of it all. Death often leads to reflection. But this particular death didn’t. Liquidation or death, what is the difference?

There was good journalism in Utusan, though it lost it along the way. We did lose it, too. When poisonous politics dips its nasty nib in the inkpot, journalism becomes soiled. Fair becomes foul and foul fair.

A poisonous pen such as this shrouds when it should reveal. Journalism such as this rightly deserves the Shakespearean response: Et tu, Brute?

Itis for this reason we place our faith in press freedom. Truth and the argument based on it must be protected. Opinions may differ, but they must be allowed to be given expression. A nation that does not allow this will forever remain inchoate.

Do not get us wrong. We are not arguing for the right to be offensive. Because we believe we can put truth across without being offensive. A nation with a free press will do the country a mighty good, too.

Today, Malaysia stands ranked 123rd in the 2019 World Press Freedom Index. Imagine being ranked among top scorers Norway, Finland, Sweden, Netherlands and Denmark. It will be a major economic booster.

Never underestimate the media. It is a sprawling think-tank. On adrenaline, 24/7. Non-stop thinking. Critics will say journalists think in column inches, but we know of no others who have made thinking their profession. Except for Edward de Bono, perhaps. The point is: we correct yawning gaps, which otherwise will go unnoticed. Take the case of the batik industry, a business the New Straits Times has been fighting to rejuvenate.

One account puts the worth of the industry at RM100 million while another RM5 billion. Why the gap? Has anyone asked? We have. We will put the bamboo industry under similar scrutiny, too. As the conscience of the nation, it is our duty to do so. Lest we forget, newspapers are the biggest debating forum in the country. Sure, we may need improvements. But so does the national football team.

The media business is too strategic an industry to decree its death in a mere speech. Such is the blight of hubris. Newspapers do not die, people. They just get better. Newspapers are about good journalism. Do not for a moment think it is about platforms. Platforms do not make good journalism. In fact, the reverse is true.

Instead of ringing the death knell of newspapers, we must help make good journalism. Platforms come and go.

Some are read, some are not. Old media, new media. Print media, digital media. Bigger media, better media.

These words are mere nattering of newly-minted nabobs. Good journalism is here to stay. The newspaper isn’t dead. Long live the conscience of the nation.

Read more @ nst.com.my/opinion/leaders/2019/10/528742/nst-leader-its-not-platform-its-journalism

Effective practices in early intervention for children with autism

October 12th, 2019

A child’s natural setting in early childhood years means his or her home environment, childcare centre and preschool. – NSTP/File pic

The National Early Childhood Intervention Council (NECIC) refers to a news portal that highlighted the lack of early intervention services to cater to the increasing number of children with autism in Malaysia.

We, at NECIC, agree that the public and private sectors need to boost efforts to ensure that no child is left behind.

Although setting up centres to cater to the needs of children with autism and other disabilities is an option, it is not the only feasible solution.

Not only is it not cost-effective, it also takes a long time. We would like to highlight constructive solutions that can be implemented as our children cannot wait.

FIRST, integrate early intervention services into childcare centres and preschools. We can only build so many autism-friendly early intervention centres, and the waiting list will be long.

Evidence has shown that early intervention that is conducted in the child’s natural setting is the most efficient.

A child’s natural setting in early childhood years means his or her home environment, childcare centre and preschool.

While we do need more early intervention centres delivering quality services that complement the work of childhood care providers, we should not aim to construct more of them, which can be expensive.

Instead, the focus must be on making early childhood care inclusive by employing therapists to provide services in these settings, as well as making environmental adaptations to buildings to accommodate children’s sensory and physical needs.

This is because childcare centres are places where children spend the most time at, apart from their homes.

Many parents enrol their children with disabilities in mainstream preschools because the learning environment is conducive for their development and inclusive education benefits all children.

SECOND, emphasise training for early childhood educators. Malaysia has a deficit of well-trained personnel to provide quality early intervention services to children with disabiliti

Ideally, these should be transdisciplinary therapists to support all children with special needs.

The skills and knowledge in inclusive early childhood education should be imparted to the early childhood caregivers at their settings.

Thus, resources should be channelled to train personnel instead of building centres.

THIRD, empower parents to teach. Currently, intervention plans are mostly developed by early childhood intervention therapists.

International research has shown the effectiveness of early intervention programmes when there is committed parental involvement.

Parents can be great teachers for children with disabilities because they have a keen observation of what their children need.

They are resourceful and can draw up intervention plans that best meet their children’s needs.

It is time that early intervention therapists shared the teaching responsibility with parents and allow them to take the lead in making decisions concerning their children’s needs.

With limited funding and human resources — factors that plague early childhood intervention services — we need to rethink how the nation is addressing this pressing need.

Datuk Dr Amar-Singh

Adviser, National Early Childhood Intervention Council

Dr Wong Woan Yiing

President, National Early Childhood Intervention Council; consultant paediatrician

Prof Dr Toh Teck Hock

Vice-president, National Early Childhood Intervention Council; consultant paediatrician

Ng Lai Thin

Project officer, National Early Childhood Intervention Council


Read more @ https://www.nst.com.my/opinion/letters/2019/10/529117/effective-practices-early-intervention-children-autism

Charting a new era

October 12th, 2019
The government, past and present, has come up with great economic policies to move Malaysia to greater heights. – NSTP/Aswadi Alias.

The Shared Prosperity Vision 2030 (SPV 2030) is Malaysia’s fifth long-term economic plan since independence.

The first long-term economic plan was the First Outline Perspective Plan (OPP1 — 1971 to 1990).

Under OPP1, the New Economic Policy (NEP) was formulated. It was the first attempt by the government to restructure the economy in a fundamental way to address many legacies of British colonialism.

Chief among them was income inequality, which was seen as a main obstacle to national unity and caused a political crisis in the form of the 1969 racial riots.

Under the Second Malaysia Plan (2MP — 1971 to 1975), one of the targets was to achieve a 30 per cent equity ownership for Bumiputeras. The measures taken included state support for Bumiputera business start-ups and development, ethnic quota for jobs in the government and private sectors, as well as contract bidding and procurement for Bumiputera businesses.

How different are the economic strategies this time around?

SPV 2030 has a similar philosophy to NEP, which is to achieve growth with equity.

The second long-term economic plan was the Second Outline Perspective Plan (OPP2 — 1991 to 2000), under which the National Development Policy or NDP (1991 to 2000) was formulated to spur economic development until 2000.

NDP signalled a shift in development strategy as this was the period when Vision 2020 was born. The economy saw its “golden era”, growing at an impressive rate of nine per cent per annum on average.

However, it was also a dark period when the 1997/1998 Asian financial crisis hit our shores.

SPV 2030 should employ the right strategies in the next 10 years in order for the economy to face impending crisis.

The Third Outline Perspective Plan (OPP3 — 2001 to 2010) was the third long-term economic plan, under which the National Vision Policy was introduced. It aimed to achieve balanced development and prosperous society.

Under OPP3, strategies to boost the manufacturing and services sectors were drawn up under the Third Industrial Master Plan (IMP3), a continuation of the previous two industrial master plans. IMP3 put forth key strategic thrusts, among others, to boost Malaysia as a major trading hub, integrate local companies into global networks, and develop innovative and creative human capital.

In 2008, the economy was impacted by the global financial crisis as gross domestic product and exports contracted.

Thus, SPV 2030 must have specific policies to respond to external shocks.

The fourth long-term economic plan was the National Transformation Policy, in which the New Economic Model was the anchor blueprint.

The aim was to achieve a sustainable and high-income nation by 2020.

While the aim may be similar to SPV 2030, the difference could be in the specific details on how to get there such as the focus on addressing income and wealth inequality.

All in all, there is no doubt that the government, past and present, has come up with great economic policies to move Malaysia to greater heights.

By Dr Irwan Shah Zainal Abidin.

Read more @ https://www.nst.com.my/opinion/letters/2019/10/529121/charting-new-era

2020 Budget: Incentives aplenty for homebuyers

October 12th, 2019
The Housing and Local Government Ministry said that the 2020 Budget has laid out a precise and detailed plan to solve home ownership issues, including the upkeep of housing schemes. – NSTP/SYAMSI SUHAIMI

KUALA LUMPUR: The Housing and Local Government Ministry said that the 2020 Budget has laid out a precise and detailed plan to solve home ownership issues, including the upkeep of housing schemes.

Its minister, Zuraida Kamaruddin, said that under the Rent To Own (RTO) financing scheme, the government will collaborate with financial institutions to assist those unable to afford the initial 10 per cent deposit, or without access to financing, to buy homes.

In addition, RM100 million has been allocated to ensure the maintenance of housing schemes, including lifts, electrical wiring, sewerage pipes and roofing.

“The government has also allocated RM15 million to the City Safe (Bandar Selamat) initiative, in collaboration with local authorities, to provide outdoor lighting, parking with security features for motorcycles, anti-climb fences, and safety advocacy programmes,” she said in a statement, today.

The Housing and Local Governmen minister, Zuraida Kamaruddin, said that under the Rent To Own (RTO) financing scheme, the government will collaborate with financial institutions to assist those unable to afford the initial 10 per cent deposit, or without access to financing, to buy homes. – NSTP/MUHAIZAN YAHYA

Zuraida added that under the Youth Housing Scheme, the government also offers a 10 per cent loan guarantee through Cagamas. This will enable borrowers to obtain full financing and assistance via a monthly installment of RM200 per month for the first two years (limited to 10,000 units of houses from Jan 1, 2020 to Dec 31, 2021)

“I am also happy that the government has approved the Fire Service Allowance for the 14,400 members of the Fire and Rescue Department of Malaysia.

“This will motivate our firefighters to carry out their duties,” she said

By New Straits Times.

Read more @ https://www.nst.com.my/news/nation/2019/10/529178/2020-budget-incentives-aplenty-homebuyers

Dr Mahathir confident Malaysians will receive Budget well

October 12th, 2019

KUALA LUMPUR: The Prime Minister is convinced Pakatan Harapan’s Budget 2020 will be well received by the people.

“Looks like many people will be happy.

“Almost everybody gets something, ” Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad told a press conference after the tabling of the Budget yesterday.

He said despite having a massive debts to repay, the country’s economic performance had improved with growth for 2019 projected at 4.7%, adding that a 4.8% rate was possible next year.

“This means that the (Pakatan) administration is still doing well, although we had to clean up the government.

“Many may feel that the Pakatan government has no experience and may not be able to govern the country well.

“But from what we heard (in the Budget speech), allocations were increased for all and this shows that our financial position is still strong, ” he said.

Dr Mahathir said Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng had prepared a sound Budget that reflected the strength of the present administration and also described the country’s credit rating as being “very good”.

“But of course we have to borrow from the best offer and Samurai bonds will attract an interest rate of 0.5%, ” he said when asked if he was concerned about the credit ratings following higher Budget allocations and the issuance of a second Samurai Bond.

He also said the government will work out the full details on the proposed takeover of the four highway concessionaires.

When asked whether the Cabinet had approved the decision to take over four highways from Gamuda, Dr Mahathir said: “The four highways, we will have to look at the details of them. But the four will be privatised.”

In July, Lim said the government’s proposed RM6.2bil takeover of four highway concessionaires would not see toll charges abolished, only reduced.

Read more @ https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2019/10/12/dr-mahathir-confident-malaysians-will-receive-budget-well#mreILyevQaCb526H.99

Budget 2020: Govt’s initiative to create more jobs for youths welcomed

October 12th, 2019


PETALING JAYA: Wage incentives announced in Budget 2020 to encourage hiring of unemployed graduates and local workers have been hailed by Malaysians.

Under the Malaysians@Work initiative, graduates who secure a job after having been unemployed for more than a year will receive RM500 per month from the government for a duration of two years.

Employers will also receive a hiring incentive up to RM300 per month for each new hire over two years.

Malaysian Youth Council president Jufitri Joha welcomed the government’s initiative to create more jobs for youths.

The Malaysia National Federation of Youth Work secretary-general Mohamad Rizan Hassan said the initiative was “new and brave”, considering the economic situation in the country.

However, he asked if it would be applicable only to university graduates or would include those who were technical and vocational graduates.

“What is most important is for youths to maintain and keep their jobs.

“We do not want them to enjoy these incentives but do not keep their jobs once they have obtained these benefits,” he said.

The government will also be offering monthly wage incentives for locals hired to replace foreign workers in abid to reduce the country’s dependency on low-skilled foreign labour.

Under the measure announced in Budget 2020, locals will receive an incentive of RM350 or RM500 depending on sector for two years, and their employers will receive an incentive of RM250 a month during the same time period.

Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs director of research Laurence Todd opined that the wage incentive to replace foreign workers with locals would likely not be effective.

“I suspect it won’t be too effective in reducing the number of foreign workers, as many foreign workers are employed in jobs which Malaysians are not competing for.

“I do not think this incentive will fundamentally change that, but it might have an impact,” he said.

By Clarissa Chung
Read more @