Labour Day Cabinet meeting to discuss job creation, says minister

Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Saifuddin Nasution Ismail outside the Penang assembly today.

GEORGE TOWN: Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Saifuddin Nasution Ismail said tomorrow’s special Cabinet meeting will be on how to create more jobs and making Malaysia more business-friendly.

He was responding to a Bernama report today quoting another minister as saying the Labour Day meeting with Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad was to prepare a paper on “issues related to their respective ministries”.

Saifuddin said the meeting was expected to discuss matters without the time limit at regular Cabinet meetings which was usually from 9am to noon.

He said Mahathir had told ministers it would not be an open-ended discussion, with all required to submit their inputs through a policy paper format.

He said the topic to be discussed tomorrow was how the government could “create more jobs and improve the lives of people”.

“The government is reviewing our roles to ensure the economy grows in a dynamic way.

“It wants to ease and facilitate proposals on investment or business ideas that might come our way.

“Dr Mahathir wants the Cabinet to facilitate the business community and to assist in job creation so the economy can grow dynamically.

“That is why May 1 was selected so that most ministers would have time,” Saifuddin, who is also the Pantai Jerejak assemblyman, told reporters on the sidelines of the assembly sitting today.

Sharing what he plans to present tomorrow, he said his paper had a theme related to the cost of living and lopsided policies that favoured profit “but did nothing for consumers”.

He said Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng would present two policy papers.

“Ultimately, tomorrow’s meet is to gather ideas on how we can create jobs. The previous government only gave out (aid and goodies) but job creation had been low,” he said.