KUALA LUMPUR: Human Resources Minister M Kulasegaran today assured that Pakatan Harapan’s (PH) manifesto pledge to create one million job opportunities was not an empty promise.
He said the government was capable of fulfilling the promise but was currently faced with insufficient manpower.
“The problem is not the figure or job availability, the problem is full employment as the unemployment rate is only 3.4%. There is a shortage of workers, and efforts are being taken to increase the pool of skilled workers as this will raise the nation’s income.
“Raising the minimum wage to RM1,500 is a policy of the government which certainly can be achieved in five years’ time. The first step has been taken, which is raising the minimum wage from RM1,000 to RM1,100 effective Jan 19,” he said in the Dewan Rakyat today.
He was responding to Ahmad Zahid Hamidi (BN-Bagan Datuk) who wanted to know if the government would keep its promise of creating a million job opportunities with the minimum pay of RM2,500 as stated in the PH manifesto.
He said there were 137,400 unemployed graduates in 2017, an increase of 4% compared to 131,600 in 2016.
The measures implemented to tackle this included upgrading the JobsMalaysia portal, job matching schemes, holding job fairs and walk-in-interviews, he said.
As for retrenchment, the minister said from Jan 1 to Sept 30, 15,903 workers lost their jobs, adding that the figure was about half for the same period in 2017 which saw 31,945 workers let go.
He was responding to Zahid’s original question on unemployment among graduates and the retrenchment of workers.