Saturday, September 29, 2012

The real remedy is just a little honesty

When facts and figures are distorted and lied about, there will never be a true solution. Imagine being paid below poverty wages by a very large margin, to the point of not even making a profit, but losing, who in his right mind would want to work? This is the reality of the establishment who employ workers in Sabah and Sarawak.

The accusations that Sabahan and Sarawakians just want to enjoy themselves are just blatant lies. Imagine being paid RM300 per month, from 9 am to 9pm, 7 days a week. It happened to my daughter, and also my colleague. Transportation and food alone eats up the wages. Not yet taking into account the transportation. The salary appear reasonable, until you take into account transportation costs. Even international companies like McDonald, paying at RM2 per hour is no exception. Luckily, the McDonald was at walking distance from my house. 

Why the poverty level in Sabah is set at RM1200? Because of the high cost of living. Brought about unfair Federal trade practises, such as monopolies on transportation from Sabah and Peninisular Malaysia, forceful delivery of goods via Port Klang instead of direct flights to Kota Kinabalu, for all shipments by air or sea, when Sabah is actually nearer to Hong Kong than KL or port Klang. It routinely happens to me when I order goods from China. It is much cheaper shipping to Brunei than to Sabah, because the distance is double.

Even road usage is discriminated by building roads that are of so low standards, that maximum tonnage is much lower than in West Malaysia, increasing the cost of transportation even further even within the state. Despite the low cost of transportation from SAbah to West Malaysia, Sabah is discriminated even further by not being allowed to export at all to West Malaysia. It is just so ridiculous as to be preposterous but it is very true.

Despite the huge disparity in poverty, absolutely nothing has been done about it. Only the latest figure of subsidy of RM300 million, in order to balance the cost of goods in Sabah, brought about by Malayan policies. Too little too late. It cannot even lower the price of cement by RM1.  Let alone lowering the price of houses that are already being burdered by lack of infrastructure supported by government. Every thing must be bought by the consumers, from transformers, electric and telephone poles to road junctions even those that are located 1 mile away. With certainly it was at Severy Putatan. AT SMC Damai, not sure but the project was delayed because SMC refused to pay for the  roundabout going into the Hospital, despite SMC being state government owned.

When Sabahans and Sarawakians keep on being silent when lies like this article is thrown at them, accusing them of laziness and greediness.

Sabahans are to be blamed in the end for supporting a government that steal resources from them, the oild revenue, while burdening Sabah with even more unfair and ridiculous policies such as forced transhipment via Port Klang and KLIA, taking over virtually all federal jobs, from office boys to department heads,  and yet given subsidies that are much lower than other much more prosperous states by a large margin than Sabah, by up to 300% poorer but given 300% less subsidy for the poor and now the so called price subsidy of RM300 million. The transport subsidy in one state in Malaya already exceed this amount, without taking into account the blatant discrimination in road carriage standards and restriction of exports from Sabah to Malaya. All for a few ringgit that they get once every 5 years, during election time.

There is no corruption in election, ONLY STUPIDITY.

28 September 2012 | last updated at 11:48PM
Remedy lies in better wages, stronger work ethic

SINGAPORE 'JOLT': Sabah and Sarawak governments, bosses need to do more so that local workers won't be lured abroad
Description: John TeoBUSINESSES in Sarawak -- from big plantations, contractors or manufacturers to small and medium-scale enterprises to restaurants and coffee shops -- all share a rather familiar problem: a dearth of local workers, or at least reliable ones.
Jobs go a-begging but employers, often out of sheer desperation, have to resort to looking outside the state to find the requisite workers. Local newspapers in the state are filled not just with job vacancies but advertisers promising a godsend to employers: a ready supply of foreign workers.
That was probably why a community leader said just the other week that the rejection by Singapore of youthful workers from the native communities of both Sarawak and Sabah is a blessing in disguise.
There is something like 30,000-40,000 Sarawakians -- most of them Dayaks -- living in Johor. It is estimated at least half the number actually cross the Causeway each day to work in Singapore. Many of them live in Johor because they have families and they are therefore able to have the best of both worlds: earning in Singapore dollars but enjoying the lower Malaysian cost of living.
There are probably many thousands more of younger Sarawakians employed in unskilled service jobs and actually living in Singapore. They might have been influenced by friends or relatives who tell them of the draw of attractive wages and bright city lights there. In any case, such workers may be following a time-honoured local Dayak tradition of berjalai: seeking employment abroad not so much out of necessity as gaining the opportunity to see and experience a different world.
It seems like such a group of younger Sarawak natives abroad may now be ruining the good name of Sarawak workers in general, if the policy adjustment on hiring Malaysians by Singapore that intentionally or otherwise impacts negatively the hiring of native Sarawakians and Sabahans below the age of 35 tells us anything.
Singapore has always been especially welcoming of Malaysian workers. While some gripe that the island republic is discriminating against natives from the two Borneo states, a little introspection may be useful. Singapore could not have taken this step lightly given its insatiable need for foreign labour and a growing local intolerance towards foreign workers generally there.
Singapore has clearly decided that younger native workers from Sarawak and Sabah are more trouble than they are worth. It may now claim there is no change in policy on hiring foreign workers and that may be true but there is no stopping it not entertaining certain job applicants from both states.
The state governments of Sarawak and Sabah will be doing both states a great service if they proactively take steps to regulate (even perhaps to the extent of actively discouraging, through punitive exit levies, for example) the flow of their workers outside the two states.
In the case of Sarawak, the realisation of the Sarawak Corridor Of Renewal Energy (Score) has already started to bring in its wake thousands of technical skilled and semi-skilled jobs for locals.
The timing of the Singapore "jolt" seems quite fortuitous. Businesses in the two states are currently grappling with the challenge of satisfying the statutory minimum wage recently promulgated by the government. The minimum wage requirement will at least go some way towards addressing workers' complaints about unattractive local wages.
Perhaps far more important -- especially as Sarawak and Sabah face up to the demands made of a modern economy -- is the need to inculcate a stronger work ethic among the work forces in both states.
Employers in both states invariably complain about the reliability of local workers, some of whom seem to have the habit of absenteeism, especially after payment of wages or a festive break. Businesses naturally will suffer if they are susceptible to the whims of individual workers to turn up for work.
It seems rather anachronistic that while both states ostensibly suffer from labour shortages in practically all job categories, even small restaurants seem to be amply staffed with service crews. Hopefully, beginning with the minimum wage, we will see a rationalisation across the board of hiring practices, with fewer workers hired to work more productively and earn higher wages so that the problem of local workers tempted by the lure of ostensibly better wages to work abroad will also sooner solve itself.

No comments:


This blogspot is filled with Adsense links. These google advertising links can be useful but their uses are strictly governed. I earn cash if any of you click these links but if I or my close acquaintances click them, google is very harsh in permanently banning me. Please do not click these adverts unnecessarily.

Learn how to earn money by clicking the button below: