Last night, 15 August, the Minister of Youth and Sports took to his Twitter to announce the Pakatan Harapan Government's decision to increase the allowance for interns from RM1.60 an hour to RM5
The paid internship allowance is for interns undergoing practical training in ministries, government departments and agencies. It will be effective from 1 September 2019.
"The government has agreed to increase the Paid Internship allowance in the Ministry/Agency/Department, from RM300 to RM900. We did it!" Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman wrote in his tweet.
With internship allowance increased from RM300 to RM900 a month, Syed Saddiq added that "this is a very good increase"
"We have just ended a Special Cabinet Meeting to discuss the issues of youths and the government has agreed to increase the rate of allowance from RM1.60 to RM5... an increase of more than three times, from RM300 to RM900 a month.
"This is a very good increase... from no payment at all to RM15 a day, and now to an expected RM45 a day," the Minister recorded himself saying in a video he posted.
According to a statement issued by the Ministry of Youth and Sports, this is a step towards providing more internship and job experiences to youth in all government ministries and agencies
Prior to this, Syed Saddiq had called out the Congress of Unions of Employees in the Public and Civil Services (Cuepacs) for their statement in which the group said that paying interns was wrong
"I'd like to ask Cuepacs how does someone in the B40 (lower income group) say from Sarawak gets a chance to join a top industry in Kuala Lumpur as an intern, but does not get a cent or is paid very low. How does this person take advantage of this once in a lifetime chance? The existing system only favours those from privileged families.
"Even if a student gets good results and has a good CV, he still has to undergo a certain level of practical studies and how does one do it without money?
"In the end, they either lose this opportunity or their studies will then be stuck at that stage," the Minister was quoted as saying by Malay Mail last month.
"We do not want only those who are from a wealthy family to have access to this opportunity," he added while noting that allowances for students of higher learning institutions who undergo practical training in the industry were necessary.