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Human Capital

The following were FMM proposals to the Ministry of Finance for the 2012 Budget and Ministry of International Trade and Industry for the MITI Annual Dialogue 2011:

  1. Revamp education system to emphasis English as a must pass subject in public examinations. Allow a choice by parents to have English as the medium of instruction in Mathematics and Science as well as to allow the establishment of national type English schools. Education opportunities and support should also be based on merits.

  2. Refocus on vocation schools system as they are important in addressing the acute shortage of skilled manpower. The curriculum of vocational schools should be jointly developed with the industry to ensure that the skills produced by these institutions meet industry requirements. FMM proposes that the Government subsidises vocational education to increase the supply of quality technically skilled manpower in the country and to encourage lifelong learning among working adults. The Government should not convert vocational institutions into academic institutions. The Government's renewed emphasis and support for vocational education would also help to uplift the status and the public's perception of technical skills in line with those of developed countries where technical skills and master craftsman are highly appreciated and rewarded. This will help in the implementation of the New Economic Model. The Government should also encourage the development of weekend classes for workers to re-skill and up-skills and keep up with current technology.

  3. Clear and consistent policy on foreign workers. Use transparent market-based mechanism and remove hassles in obtaining approvals. FMM supports the decision to allow MITI to be the clearing house for the application of foreign workers for the manufacturing sector.

  4. Review of employment legislation should ensure that the law is equitable to both employers and employees. Security of tenure and the perception that employees are always exploited by employers are outdated. Allow total revamp and re-negotiation of collective agreements to implement productivity–linked wage systems.

  5. Initiatives to attract Malaysian talent back – low personal income tax alone is not enough. There must be a holistic approach where it is more important to ensure transparent and equitable treatment to access economic opportunities based on merit and to get rid of negative perceptions of less than equal citizenship, racial and religious extremism and discrimination, real appreciation of talent.

  6. Restructure tax bracket. Personal income tax should not hit 26% so quickly upon reaching RM100,000 taxable income. This tax bracket should be restructured in the interest of fairness and equity as well as a tool to encourage and retain talent in the country.

Submitted on April 29, 2011

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