Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz’s statement that Perikatan Nasional (PN) will create 500,000 new jobs without the backing of concrete policies seems like a total political gimmick. Zafrul’s lack of basic knowledge on “ekonomi-rakyat” and job creation is really hurting the people.
The government should renationalise and expand the maintenance workforce such as public hygiene workers, hospital cleaners, gardeners, security services etc. In the mid-1990s, Mahathir had privatised this workforce to dish out lucrative contracts for politically-linked cronies.
The life of these cronies has improved tremendously but the livelihood of the maintenance workforce has regressed.
Politically-linked cronies had progressively replaced Malaysians working on maintenance for government premises with migrant workers to squeeze out more profits. This increased unemployment for the B40, widened inequality, reduced the quality of services and increased currency outflow.
The government should renationalise the maintenance workforce and pay the workers directly instead of employing workers through these politically-linked cronies. Contrary to popular belief, renationalising the maintenance workforce is cheaper compared to current outsourcing mechanisms.
According to Jaringan Pekerja Kontrak Kerajaan (JPKK), the direct employment for daily school security services will increase wages by 50%, create 50% more jobs and the government will save RM200 million per annum compared to the current contract system.
Renationalising the entire maintenance workforce from the hands of politically-linked cronies will increase wages, attracting more Malaysians to work in this sector. This will reduce overall unemployment and save billions of Ringgit in government funds.
Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM)
Parti Sosialis Malaysia Negeri Melaka (PSM Melaka)