Media Statement by M. Kula Segaran in Ipoh on Tuesday, 25th August 2009:
Government should make it compulsory for every unemployed to register themselves
Bernama reported yesterday that the Association of Foreign Workersí Suppliers and Management Firms (Tekam) had proposed that the government make it compulsory for every unemployed in the country to register themselves with the Labour Department.
Its president Datuk Baharum Ghani said thorough the compulsory registration, companies involved in the manufacturing , service, farming and agriculture sectors only need to contact the Labour Department.
I support Tekamís proposal and urge the government to implement it as soon as possible.
Malaysia is in the same syndrome as many countries in the world which have been landed with economic downturn. Many workers lose their job and unemployment is a major issue around the world. Many European economies are for the first time seeing a double digit unemployment rate and the US is not spared of this predicament either.
Going by official figure, Malaysia has for the last decade achieved a low unemployment rate .In fact, it can be said that we have full employment as the rate of unemployed is said to be less then 3.8%. Economists agree that any country which has less than 4% unemployed is a country which has full employment.
If we have reached full employment, it means we are economically very vibrant and we have a strong economy. Thus, it is the duty and obligation of our government to assist the unemployed with the introduction of unemployment benefit policy. The unemployment benefit will go a long way to help those who need financial assistance especially when they are suddenly unemployed. Why the reluctance by the government to implement such a policy?
I have over the years disputed the unemployment figure given by the government in Parliament. My basis of objection is, the manner in which the figures have been obtained. My question is, how does the Labour Department get its unemployment figures?
If not all unemployed choose to register themselves, how can the Labour Departmentís unemployment figures be taken as totally reliable or accurate or reflective of the actual number of unemployed in the country?
The government should therefore make it compulsory for all unemployed to be registered with the Labour Department. In this manner, correct statistics on unemployment will be known and this will help economic planners to strategize their future growth and development plans. Additionally, as mentioned by Tekam, employers can approach the Labour Department to recruit local workers.
* M. Kula Segaran, DAP National Vice Chairman & MP for Ipoh Barat