Workforce reforms pointless without passion, says Dr M

PUTRAJAYA: Dr Mahathir Mohamad today emphasised the importance of passion in the workforce, saying without it, initiatives and strategies to reform the labour market will be pointless.

The prime minister also spoke of the four priorities identified in the mid-term review of the 11th Malaysia Plan, namely: reforming the labour market, improving labour efficiency and productivity, enhancing access to quality education and training, and fostering stronger industry-academia links.

“However, all these initiatives and strategies will not achieve positive results if our workforce does not have the passion for the tasks and jobs they are entrusted with.

“If they are passionate and able to dispense their tasks well, better wages and emoluments will come along naturally,” he said when opening a roundtable on empowering the workforce here today.

Also present was Human Resources Minister M Kula Segaran.

Mahathir said such reforms are crucial, not only in developing human capital to support future economic growth, but also in addressing job-related issues such as mismatches which contribute to graduate underemployment and slow wage growth.

These issues have serious implications for the economy and businesses, he added.

“We will be reviewing labour laws to improve the labour market, ensure greater transparency, and further safeguard the welfare of workers,” he said.

Mahathir also called for closer cooperation between the public and private sectors to drive the development of an Industry 4.0 ecosystem which would enable the country to fully optimise its talents “be they local graduates, the Malaysian diaspora, skilled foreign talents or our insufficiently leveraged pool of latent talent”.