Stop the ‘chromo hit’ salary system


A friend opened a story, his son who had previously undergone practical training (internship) at a large company in the capital, finally got a job at the company.
Even so, he was surprised because his son, who was placed in the human resource development department, was offered a monthly salary of RM1,550 – only RM50 more than the minimum salary set by the government previously with contract status.
In the conversation in the WhatsApp group, he said, logically, it’s not worth the LRT fare and Grab ride from home to the LRT, food money and education loan payments. The remaining balance is only a few ringgit.
” That’s why he lives with his parents, if he rents a room, pays the water and electricity bills, it’s not enough.
“But it doesn’t matter, thankfully … as long as he gets his first work experience in the big company,” he said.
I interrupted, our salary when we first started working with a degree more than 20 years ago was RM1,300. That was the mid 90s. Not far away from the salary now it seems.
Supposedly, year after year passes, there must be a good development in terms of salary increase for a graduate. It will not be the same as it was 30 years ago. Still in ancient times.
It is true that finding experience is important, but do not take advantage of this with the excuse of lack of post-graduate experience, then the salary may be the same or lower than that of an oil pump attendant.
Yes, it’s quite annoying, when a company can pay a Chief Executive Officer (CEO) salary up to hundreds of thousands and some more than RM1 million a month, by giving an expensive car that shows the company is financially capable, but will not pay this professional level employee RM1 ,550 only.
How does the current job market place the value of a professional worker with such a low wage? Does this actually want to insult our own education system?
Another friend intervened, his son who works in a premium coffee shop, his salary is RM2,000. He has a barber course certificate from GiatMara. But during the Movement Control Order (MCO) two years ago, the barber shop closed and he ended up working at the coffee shop.
“My son has been working in a shoe store for three years. Use SPM certificate only. His salary is about to reach RM2,300,” said another alumni friend of my school.
The fact is, now that a post-graduate salary is paid even RM2,000 is good enough. Accept it or forget it, employers think there are many more who are fighting to fill the offered position, if they are not satisfied with that much salary.
Until when the employer’s mentality is still like this. The ‘chromo hit’ system in employing workers regardless of their skill and professional level makes them fall into the urban poor category.
For example, in Kuala Lumpur, RM2,216 is the poverty line and any household earning less than that is defined as poor.
If the income is half of that which is RM1,110, the family is categorized as extreme poor.
This kind of attitude is also piling up the B40 group in this country, even though everyone knows that education can change the status of a person’s life and until now we believe in this matter.
But if it continues like this, over time there are those who think that it is okay not to study higher, the salary will remain the same or less than that of those who did not study higher.
According to the Department of Statistics Malaysia, the number of unemployed graduates has decreased to 4.1 percent last year.
The number of employed graduates increased by 5.0 percent to 4.57 million people (2020: 4.35 million people). Meanwhile, around two-thirds (64.8%) of the graduates work in the skilled category, which is a total of 2.96 million people.
However, the number recorded a decrease of 1.2 percent (-35.8 thousand) following a reduction in the manager category while the other two skilled job categories namely professionals and technicians and associate professionals saw an increase in the number of employed graduates.
Even so, the reduction in the number of unemployed graduates does not affect the salary structure of this group.
Khazanah Research Institute (KRI) said that in the year in question it was found that about 60 percent of new graduates received salaries at the level of RM2,000 and below.
So it’s true what a lecturer at the University of Malaya told me before – We are also tired of producing professionals but in the end university students, contributing to the city’s poor statistics because the wage rate is too low.
“We are a factory that gives birth to professionals, while outside employers are ruining what we are working on with a flat-rate wage system and the scourge of being thankful as long as there is work,” he said.
It is hoped that the government elected by the people through the 15th General Election yesterday can deal with this problem. The solution is not to just give certain aid packages that do not have a long-term positive effect on the people in addition to increasing the country’s spending.
Ideally, the minimum wage should be increased beyond RM2,000. The fact is, the RM2,000 salary is still below the urban poor category.
It is true that the implementation of muhasabah salaries according to skills and academic qualifications cannot be implemented in a short time, but at least there is an effort towards that, not static like 10 or 20 years ago.
And it is appropriate that these government-owned companies (GLCs) and large private companies pioneered the dignified salary system considering that they have a strong financial position by employing CEOs with RM1 million per month but with professional and subordinate employees, they are stingy.
Employers always demand employees to change their attitude to be advanced, creative and competitive. Want employees to think outside the box. But in the salary chapter, the employer is still sitting in the box for too long, not wanting to come out.
Do not drag this issue to another 20 or 30 years. I feel sorry for the parents in the village who are willing to pawn anything to see that their children don’t live as hard as they do.

THE AUTHOR is the Editor of the Malaysian Weekly News.





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