Economy, Featured, General, Govt, Politics, press

In the midst of 1MDB financial scandal, only low- and lower middle wage jobs were created last four years

Media statement by Steven Sim, MP for Bukit Mertajam


Prime Minister Najib Razak and his former Pemandu Minister Idris Jala boasted that we are “just 15% short” of becoming a high income nation.

Yet, based on a report given to me in Parliament by the Human Resources Minister on 3 August 2017, the reality is very gloomy.

I have asked a question on the number of job opportunities created in the last few years.

The Minister gave me the following answer:

YearNumber of jobs offered
2017 (up to July 2017)159,325

Table 1: Number of jobs offered according to year (Source: Parliamentary reply by Human Resources Minister on 3 August 2017 to MP for Bukit Mertajam)

Refusing to give details on the breakdown of these jobs by industry, the Minister merely said that they are in “key sectors such as manufacturing, construction, agriculture, plantation and services”.

According to the same Minister, in the last four years, the average salary offered was only between RM1,000 – RM5,000.

Contrast this to the so-called M40, the government’s own definition of middle 40 percent income earners with monthly salary between RM3,860 – RM8,319. (Source:

In other words, the only jobs offered in the last four years were low- and lower-middle wage jobs.

Government utterly failed to tackle employment problems for young Malaysians

A worse news is; even these low- and lower-middle income jobs are unattainable for young Malaysians whose unemployment rate is on the rise.

While our Minister proudly dangles over 672,000 jobs in the past four years, young Malaysians are struggling to get employment.

Youth unemployment rate in the country has increased by almost 4% since 2013. According to Bank Negara Malaysia’s latest Annual Report released in March this year, youth unemployment rate “reached 10.7% in 2015, more than three times higher than the national unemployment rate 3.1%”.

Out of the roughly 468,000 unemployed persons in Malaysia in 2015, a whooping 60% are young Malaysians aged between 20-29 years old!

Age groupNumber of unemployed persons

Table 2: Number of unemployed persons by age groups, 2015 (Source: Annual Report 2016, Bank Negara Malaysia)

All these are not unexpected. Under the previous governor, Bank Negara itself had warned of a crisis of confidence and credibility against Malaysia’s economy due to unresolved financial scandals.

In the midst of the 1MDB financial scandal, all Malaysians are suffering from economic consequences, from GST to rising cost of living, to unemployment and stagnated wage.

Steven Sim Chee Keong
Member of Parliament for Bukit Mertajam
Deputy spokesperson, DAP Parliamentary Committee for Human Resources

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