PETALING JAYA: Malaysians are said to shun 3D (dirty, difficult and dangerous) jobs in Malaysia but a large percentage of 3D workers across the causeway are Malaysians. This begs the question "why?" The answer is obvious – the relatively higher pay. Both Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin have pointed out that young Malaysians are not willing to take up 3D jobs and urged the public to accept this reality. Their remarks have prompted some non-governmental organisations and youth groups to urged the two ministers to find out why our youth refuse 3D work in Malaysia but are willing to take up similar jobs in Singapore. According to a report in Oriental Daily News today, the strong Singapore dollar is attracting a lot of young semi-skilled workers from Malaysia to across the causeway to take up employment in the island republic, including 3D jobs. Operators from labour-intensive industries interviewed by the daily said it is a fact that local youths are reluctant to take up 3D jobs here. This is because apart from being dirty, difficult and dangerous, the wages for these jobs are very low, they said. But the same people are willing to take up similar 3D jobs down south because of the attractive Singapore dollar, which is made relatively stronger due to the ringgit's depreciation. According to JobStreet.com statistics, the salary figures for blue-collar jobs in both Malaysia and Singapore are about the same without considering the exchange rate. But given the exchange rate of one Singapore dollar to more than three ringgit, the same 3D jobs are three times more attractive just across the causeway. It is still attractive after taking foreign worker levy into consideration. Asked if he agrees that Malaysians are willing to take up 3D jobs in Singapore for better pay, Johor Master Builders Association president Sim Tian Liang said: "Who would not appreciate good money?" He said local builders and developers will strive to improve worksite conditions and safety to attract more locals to take up construction work.