KUALA LUMPUR: Lim Guan Eng (pix) has expressed the government’s concern over the lack of female participation in the workforce and the high reliance on foreign workers.
Speaking at the 2020 Budget tabling today, the Finance Minister highlighted that female participation at work continued to be at a meagre 55%, still way behind the government’s target of 60%.
“The gap between genders at work is still very huge, despite Malaysia having made significant progress with the appointment of the first ever female Deputy Prime Minister, Chief Justice and Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission chief,” he said in the Dewan Rakyat, here, today.
Lim also pointed out that Malaysia continues to rely on low-skilled foreign labour, with about 2.2 million foreign workers recorded in the country as of December 2018, making up 15% of the 15 million-person workforce here.
“All quarters must work to reduce this reliance on low-skilled foreign workers as well as to identify the challenges faces by the industry in hiring sufficient local employees,” he said.
Lim added that the government was also worried over the rise in the number of unemployment in the country, noting that over 140,000 of them were graduates.
“In terms of age, about 290,000 of those unemployed are youth age 24 and below,” he said.
To address all this issues, Lim said the government has launched the #MalaysiaKerja (Malaysians@Work) initiative to create better job opportunities for the youth and women, as well as to reduce the over-reliance on foreign workers.