Ask bosses why graduates get less now, says Maszlee

Bank Negara’s annual report shows 2018 starting salaries are lower than in 2010. (Bernama pic)

PETALING JAYA: Education Minister Maszlee Malik shrugged off a question on why the starting salary of graduates has been falling, saying this question should have been directed to the industry players.

He said his ministry was only responsible for turning out highly-skilled graduates but was in no position to decide on their pay.

However, he would take note of this matter and work together with different parties to tackle this issue. “We take graduates’ marketability seriously,” he said.

“We don’t take control of how much they are paid; what we do is to prepare graduates who are skilled, knowledgeable, trained and competitive for the local and international job market.

“You have to ask those giving job opportunities. When the time is right, we will give our take on this,” he told reporters.

Bank Negara Malaysia’s annual report for 2018 showed that the starting pay of fresh graduates in the country had been declining since 2010, after taking inflation into account.

Diploma holders received a net salary of RM1,376 last year compared to RM1,458 in 2010; bachelor’s degree holders RM1,983 (2018) compared to RM1,993 (2010); master’s degrees holders RM2,707 (2018) and RM2,923 (2010).

The size of degree-holders in the work force has increased from 23.5% in 2010 to 28.3% in 2017.