Survey shows Malays, Indians face discrimination in getting jobs

A survey has revealed that male and female Chinese candidates obtain considerably more job callbacks than their Malay and Indian peers combined. (Bernama pic)

PETALING JAYA: Malay and Indian job seekers are likely to face discrimination in the private sector compared with their Chinese counterparts, a survey by a think tank has found.

The survey carried out by the Centre for Governance and Political Studies (Cent-GPS) found that male and female Chinese candidates obtained considerably more job callbacks than their Malay and Indian peers combined.

The centre carried out an experimental study, in which it sent 3,829 job applications to over 500 job openings.

For every job vacancy, it sent seven applications from the three main ethnic groups, comprising both male and female.

The resumes, Cent-GPS senior researcher Zaidel Baharuddin said, mentioned co-equal degree, CGPA, graduation, internship and communication skills for all the candidates.

“The results are tragic. Both our male and female Chinese candidates obtained more job callbacks than their Malay and Indian peers combined,” he told a media briefing here today.

Out of 500 jobs applied, Nicola, a Chinese female, received 240 callbacks, while Gabriel Liew, a Chinese male, received 179 callbacks.

Saadiq, a Malay male, and Thivakar, an Indian male, were left far behind, only getting 42 and 20 callbacks respectively.

“This goes to show that, Nicola only needs to apply to two jobs, for her to get one callback.

“As for Nur Sakinah, the Malay female with a hijab, she needs to apply to 13 jobs to get a callback.

“Devastatingly, Thivakar, our Indian male candidate, needs to apply to 27 jobs to get just one callback for an interview,” he said.

Zaidel said all the seven “candidates” listed Mandarin as “intermediate” in their resumés, yet Nicola and Gabriel dominated in callbacks from companies which listed Mandarin fluency as a requirement.

“Nicola got a 55% callback rate, while Thivakar only got 9%.

“(It goes to show that) Mandarin requirement is just a smokescreen to hire Chinese candidates,” he said.

Another test carried out found that a Malay girl without a hijab would get more callbacks than a Malay girl who wears a hijab.

Zulaikha, a girl who did not wear a hijab obtained a 13% callback rate, while Nur Sakinah obtained a lower callback rate at 9.14%.