Khalid Ibrahim, the newly minted Selangor chief minister wants companies with migrant workers to pay RM9 each so that the money can fund training courses for unemployed persons.
It’s a silly policy, short-sighted and shows lack of human compassion for the workers involved. Khalid cannot just shoot off crap from his mouth as he likes. Suggestions like this involve policy changes. Policies should not be changed according to the whims and fancies of whoever is in power.
First of all, the companies involved are not going to pay this amount from their pocktes. They’ll deduct it from the migrants’ salaries, which is already chicken feed. These employers spend more on food, accesories and health care for their pet dogs and cats, you can be sure.
Khalid, in all his mightiness, as ex-Guthrie CEO or current menteri besar, I am afraid, can’t do a thing to stop towkays and bosses from exploiting their workers further in this way. And what does it say about Selangor, the new and riches Opposition state?
Secondly, what has the migrants got to do with unemployed persons? Why must they be made to pay for our unemployment problems?
The very fact that migrants are at work, though miserably paid, shows that we have job opportunities. But why are they still many, many unemployed people in Malaysia?
It’s not that locals do not want to do the kind of jobs that migrants currently do. Employers prefer migrants because they can be easily exploited, and abused. Everyone makes money when a migrant comes to work in this country. From agents to employers, government official, airline companies, doctors, house owners, everyone! Except the migrant themselves.
It’s not that the migrants have deprived the locals of their jobs, that’s lazy thinking. But its the government policies, employers and agents, who work in cohorts, to make sure they make the most profits, leaving locals with less opportunity for jobs. It’s a vicious cycle, I know. But that’s the reality.
If unemployment is the main issue, there are other ways to takle it. Make Malaysia more conducive for investment, for one. Secondly, require employers to hire more locals, make it a policy. Improve the education system. These are long term policies, but worth investing in.
The education system sucks that students are not prepared for life skills when they finish school. All the education ministry wants to do is make sure that students dont get involved in politics. Well, do you think they can choose what’s best for their lives, if they can’t even be allowed to think about what kind of country they want, or which leaders to govern it?
Khalid’s putting his wrong foot into this. Has he met with migrant workers or those working on migrant issues yet or even the unemployed to know what the main problem is? Consultation is the key. Or else, you are no different from your BN/UMNO predecessors.
Perhaps, I am saying this too soon. To me, one thing has become crystal clear. It seems pointless to have so many social/ NGO activists in government, if none of them can influence policies.