Govt to discuss workers’ issues with Singapore

Singapore moves to offer incentives to hire local workers in the republic for the next 6 months

by NUR HAZIQAH A MALEK / pic by RAZAK GHAZALI

THE government will seek more information with regard to workers’ issues in Singapore, but believes that the wellbeing of Malaysian workers will be protected, Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri M Saravanan (picture) said.

“I am confident that Singapore will protect all workers they have, based on international standards of the International Labour Organisation (ILO), whether they are Malaysians or local workers.

“Even here in Malaysia, we treat our foreign workers equally, therefore I will ask Singapore for further elaboration,” he said when asked to comment on Singapore’s move to offer incentives to hire local workers in the republic for the next six months.

It was reported that there are about 400,000 Malaysian workers in the republic.

Last week, the Singaporean government announced that firms which hire more locals in the coming months will be given incentives, with the possibility of receiving up to S$15,000 (RM45,681) for each worker below the age of 40, and up to S$30,000 for each older worker.

From next March and 12 months after, the payouts will be made and automatically computed each month based on the company’s contributions to the Central Provident Fund.

The move is an evident signal to companies to move forward with recruitment plans, as well as to generate more careers for Singaporeans while boosting hiring of locals.

Saravanan said the government has established MYFuture Jobs with the Social Security Organisation (Socso) to aid those who are retrenched to look for future careers in Malaysia.

“However at the moment, only 10,000 of them have registered and hopefully most of them would have returned to Malaysia and started their work here,” he said at the Labour Enrichment and Professionalism (LEAP) seminar opening yesterday.

Meanwhile, at the LEAP opening, Saravanan said he will always emphasise on the importance of upskilling and reskilling for workers.

“For workers to remain relevant in the workforce that is being challenged by Covid-19, we would like to firmly insist on the importance of upskilling and reskilling to enhance an employee’s competency,” he said.

According to the ILO, the world has lost nearly 25 million employees throughout the year, whereas the Study on the Economic Impact of Movement Control Order due to Covid-19, which was done by the Malaysian Institute of Economic Research, found as many as 2.4 million people will lose their jobs, and 67% of them lack competency.

He also added that the Union Affairs Department has developed a system named the Electronic Trade Union Information System.

“Through this system, any of the previous activities or tasks made manually may be performed digitally.

“The system is one of the department’s steps in realising the Paperless Government or Green Information, Communication and Technology concept with the goal to increase the quality of service delivery by saving costs, time and energy,” he said.