Human resources are the most invaluable asset of a country to improve its economy and social development.People are a nation’s greatest resource. Nature’s bounty becomes significant only when people find it useful. It is people with their demands and abilities that turn them into ‘resources’. Hence, human resource is the ultimate resource. Healthy, educated and motivated people develop resources as per their requirements.
Malaysia has a labor force of nearly 9.6 million people. Trade and tourism is the largest employment sector, employing 28% of the workers. Manufacturing employs 27% and industrial production contributes 44% of Malaysia’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The agricultural (16%) and service (10%) sectors are less significant in terms of GDP contribution and number of employees. Unemployment remains low at 3%.
Nearly 10% of employees in the Malaysian workforce are members of labor unions. The Malaysian Trade Union Congress (MTUC) is an umbrella organization for 230 unions and 50,000 workers. The power of union in Malaysia is restricted and they receive little cooperation from the government during disputes. The government has passed laws against strikes and the Ministry of Human Resource plays an active role in mediating between unions and management.
In spite of Malaysia having a large and talented workforce, at present there is a shortage of skilled workers in some technical fields. Engineers and high tech workers would be required to meet the demand. The shortage of IT workers ranges between 30,000 and 35,000.
In response to the shortage of qualified personnel, many companies have recruited skilled foreign workers. To reduce the over dependence on foreign workers, the government started an incentive program in January 2001 to recruit Malaysians living abroad with skills in one of several fields. The government is seeking highly skilled workers in science and technology, finance, accounting, information technology, and healthcare.
Malaysia in recent years has absorbed large numbers of foreign workers to work in low paying, low skilled fields. These workers are employed in what the job critics’ label as the “3 D’s”-dirty, dangerous, and demeaning. In general, low-skilled foreign workers are employed in positions that most Malaysians simply refuse to do.
Last Updated on: 18-11-2009