The average salaries of Malaysian fresh graduates have decreased drastically last year. According to data released by the Statistics Department, the majority of fresh talents earn between RM1,001 and RM1,500 in 2020, compared to RM2,001-RM2,500 in 2019.
Assuring that low starting salaries are a temporary thing due to the difficult market conditions, the Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF) said that wages are expected to rise as the pandemic subsides. According to MEF president Syed Hussain Syed Husman, the pandemic had taken its toll on many businesses, with low salaries among the major impacts.
“At the moment, some employers are still downsizing and are vigorously implementing multi-skilling and multitasking at the workplace to remain sustainable. Many employees have experienced pay cuts and reduced benefits, while employers are dependent on subsidies granted by the government via the Prihatin, Penjana and Pemerkasa initiatives to avoid further retrenchments.”
He added that employers had been forced to look into alternative payment methods such as hourly-wage work, short-term contracts and outsourcing of tasks to remain viable, Free Malaysia Today reports.
“However, this situation is temporary due to the current economic situation and the pandemic. With the rollout of the national immunisation programme, the forecast for 2021 onwards is bright as companies are allowed to operate at full capacity, with the opening of our borders.
“Graduates need not be too concerned with the current low starting pay as private sector employers value performance. Once the employees begin to contribute and perform, they will be rewarded accordingly.”
With the record job losses over the last 12 months, Syed Hussain said that “having employment even at a lower starting pay is a blessing today”.
He encouraged graduates to embrace the experiences they will get as this will make them more employable in the future.