"We must find out the reasons why the Malays are facing unemployment. What are the reasons employers find them less employable?"
Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF) executive director Shamsuddin Bardan asked this question after stressing that employers aren't usually racially biased when employing
Shamsuddin added that most employers are really just in search of the best person that will fit the job's requirements.
So, why are Malays having difficulties getting hired?
While admitting that some companies do openly make hiring decisions based on race, Shamsuddin said that most don't do that.
Shamsuddin pins the blame on poor English language proficiency and the reluctance to actually converse in the global language.
Being the language of commerce, it is crucial to have a good grasp of the language to survive in the globalised world and economy.
"Businessmen are out to make money, they just want someone who can do the job, regardless of their race or religion," added Shamsuddin, as reported by Free Malaysia Today yesterday, 24 August.
Besides talking about language proficiency, the MEF executive director also reminded Muslim employees that they should not see their religious requirements as constraints to focus on their jobs
"Muslim employees should not see fulfilling their religious requirements as constraints to do their jobs, while employers should adopt some form of flexibility."
As an example, Shamsuddin said, if a Muslim employee had to pray, then the employee should "repay" the time spent praying by working extra, rather than going home back on the dot. Employers, on the other hand, could be more flexible by allowing employees to take their lunch at later times.
"Take for example the Zohor prayers. It can be fulfilled between 1.20 pm and 4 pm, so companies can allow their staff to take their lunch break from 1.20 pm onwards, so that they can pray during their lunch break," said Shamsuddin.
Shamsuddin said in this respect, employees must be fair to employers, adding that it was not right for religious activities to result in loss of productivity at the work place.
Meanwhile, when speaking about unemployment among fresh graduates recently, UMNO Youth vice-chief Khairul Azwan Harun said that this is a problem that's becoming more common among Malay graduates
"This is a problem particularly prevalent among Malay graduates, since most are not proficient in English."
"... and this has retarded their potential (in terms of employability). It is a handicap that has led to a communication barrier. Some cannot express themselves confidently especially those working in the private sector," explained Khairul.
Khairul thinks that the solution for this problem lies in reverting to teaching Mathematics and Science in English, referring to his own experience of being able to better master the English language thanks to this education policy.
Why do you think certain Malay graduates have difficulties securing a job? Let us know what you think in the comment section below!