Wednesday, November 7, 2018

MALAYSIA | Will have a generation of economically marginalized youth?

The unemployment rate in Malaysia came in at 3.4 percent in August of 2018, unchanged from the corresponding month of the previous year. The number of unemployed went up 1.6 percent from a year earlier to 525 thousand, and employment increased 2.6 percent to 14.89 million. Also, the labor force rose 2.6 percent to 15.42 million. On a seasonally adjusted basis, the jobless rate also stood at 3.4 percent, the same as in July. Unemployment Rate in Malaysia averaged 3.29 percent from 1998 until 2018, reaching an all time high of 4.50 percent in 2012

Is it a new problem?

High youth unemployment is not new. A key reason is the slower hiring compared to the number of job seekers. The slower pace of hiring is due to cautious business sentiments and a moderate economic performance that restrains businesses from expanding their workforce.

Unemployment among young people is one of the contentious political issues as well as a burden for people living through it. If left unchecked, it will result in serious long-term negative effects.

The country will have a generation of economically marginalized youth and this can lead to negative and far-reaching consequences on the economy and social landscape. They will be forced to contend with more self-reliant economic arrangements and even more job displacements, more so with the advent of the wider interconnections, alongside rapid technological advancement and the employment of foreign workers. There is a strong risk of brain drain.

The alarming rise in youth unemployment and the equally disturbing high number of young people who still live in poverty despite having a job shows how difficult it is to reduce unemployment, unless strong efforts are being made to achieve sustainable economic growth.

Wide disparities between young women and men, underpinning and giving rise to wider gaps during the transition to adulthood, need to be looked at seriously. The labor force participation rate for young men is around 53% compared to 37% for young women – representing a gap of 16 percentage points.

Malaysia’s youth unemployment

Despite the workforce becoming increasingly more educated, job creation remains concentrated in the low- and mid-skilled jobs as domestic industries stay in low value-added activities that emphasise cost efficiency and dependence on cheap labour, rather than pursuing innovation as a source of growth.

Amongst the reasons are the mismatch between changes in educational attainment of the workforce and the types of jobs created have manifested, to some extent, in an anaemic demand for young people. These dent the ability to attract high quality investments that could move up the value chain and thus create more high-paying, high-skilled jobs for the local workforce.

Structural shifts also add pressure to youth employment.

Looking at shifts in the sectoral composition of employment, the service sector jobs will be the main driver of future employment growth, while agriculture and manufacturing employment continue to decline. Since vulnerable and informal employment are prevalent in both agriculture and market services, the employment shift across sectors may have only limited potential to reduce decent work deficits, if it is not accompanied by strong policy efforts to boost job quality and productivity in the service sector.

Also, high youth unemployment is partly due to many unable to find employment right after they leave school or complete tertiary education. The last-in, first-out practice suggests youths are more vulnerable than more mature adults in difficult economic times. They are likely to have less exposure and work experience.

Thus, the youth who is entering the labour force for the first time will be at a disadvantage and have a harder time finding employment compared to an adult with a longer history of work experience.

In times of surplus labour when people are competing for a limited number of jobs, the youth will be the “last in”.

Furthermore, a young person often lacks both labour market information and job search experience.

In many countries, it is only through informal placement methods – typically through family and friends – that a young person finds work.Beyond the word-of-mouth approach through families and friends, they simply might not know how and where to look for work. Adults, on the other hand, might have the possibility of finding future work through references from previous employers or colleagues, and are more likely to know the “right” people.

Another possibility is that youth might take longer to “shop around” for the right job, meaning that they might have to wait longer to find work that suits their requirements. This, however, implies that a support structure, such as the family, exists to economically support them while they search for work.But in countries where such support structure does not exist for the majority of young people, what happens is that these young people simply cannot afford to be unemployed and are likely to take whatever work that is available, regardless of the working conditions or whether or not the job fits their education or skills base.

The lack of mobility among the young people due to financial resources constraints that make it difficult for them to re-locate nationally or internationally in pursuit of work, further adds pressure on youth unemployment.Because many will continue to depend on household incomes, their job search threshold will be limited to the vicinity of the family home. The explanations above are a mixture of demand-side causes and supply-side causes.

None of the explanations is likely to explain in full the difference between youth and adult unemployment rates.What is most likely is that the different factors work together, resulting in the proportion of unemployed youth in the youth labour force being significantly higher than that of unemployed adults in the adult labour force.

Switch gears

Looking at Malaysia, jobs in the tertiary sector require different and higher levels of skill.

Employment based on education attainment shows that about 52% come from secondary level and 51% from tertiary level.

Besides, the 52% employed are mid-skilled while about 28% are low-skilled. The challenge here is addressing the failure of the basic education system and the difficulties of young people facing entrance into the labour market with limited skills partly.

The mismatch between the skills required for jobs and the levels of skills the young people have when they leave school is one of the main reasons for the high youth unemployment rates.

Educational reforms need to be fast to address what is needed in the current job market and what are the skills required.

There may be a need for a major overhaul in the education system.

For a start, schools should go back to the basics and concentrate on the three “Rs”—reading, ‘riting and ‘rithmetic. By developing the skills in the three Rs, it will provide great value and importance to the labour force.

Could it be a scenario where the true basics of how to study as well as become self-learners have been overlooked by educators and students?

At the tertiary level, Malaysian bachelor degree holders recorded the highest unemployment rate at around 28% in 2015.

By fields of study, graduates from the Sciences as well as Literature and Social Sciences have higher rates of unemployment.

Meanwhile, by household income brackets, those from lower-income bracket tend to have higher unemployment rates across all qualifications.

So, tertiary education should not only focus on academic papers but also on industrial training, communication skills and developing self-esteem in preparing the graduates for the market needs.

Hence, the tertiary education should focus on basic business ethics which also sit along the lines of three “Rs” – respect, responsibility and results.

By focusing on the three “Rs”, one can help reduce the employers’ likelihood of distrust on the quality of the certificate or qualifications and instead rely on “flags” with regards to the young person’s competencies.

Such practice could raise the entry-level requirements and demand for higher certifications, even for entry-level jobs.Thus, employers may resort to referrals, which means young people need to have access to social networks that can connect them to the labour market.

However, many young people could have limited access to these “productive networks.”

And then there are several more short-term solutions such as apprenticeships, which have worked well in countries like Austria, Denmark and Germany to tackle youth unemployment.

The need to focus on new area for green jobs is vital since the desire is to maintain a more sustainable economy.

Of course, entrepreneurship is another aspect that needs to be fostered among youths, and frameworks designed to help them build their entrepreneurial thinking and think through what it means to set up businesses.

A possible manner to encourage the inclusion of youth in the labour market is through the employment tax incentive.

Although there is mixed evidence about its success, the incentive seems to have had a positive effect in smaller companies, where most youths find their jobs.

Policies that help small businesses grow and employ youths are important.

Finally, a more integrated system that can provide up-to-date information about economic growth areas and associated skills as well as details on training options and pathways made available to young people who wish to pursue particular career options should be good.

It is important to look at the levels of the education system across the board and institute changes across all levels of the education system so that we can place the right person in the right job.

This is vital because youth unemployment appears to be a structural issue due to skills gap which is brought about by skills shortages.

It is important to start rethinking not only labour market institutions, but also the traditional education system, and what it means for universities and apprenticeships in the future.

Anthony Dass is the chief economist/head of AmBank Research

Friday, October 26, 2018

EU Local Statement on the death penalty case of Mr Prabu N Pathmanathan in Singapore

The European Union Delegation to Singapore issues the following statement in agreement with the EU Heads of Mission and the Head of Mission of Norway.


The European Union (EU) calls on the Singapore authorities to halt the execution of Mr Prabu N Pathmanathan, to commute his sentence to a non-capital sentence and to adopt a moratorium on all executions.
Today, more than two thirds of the countries of the world have become abolitionist in law or practice which confirms a global trend towards abolition of the death penalty. The EU holds a principled position against the death penalty and is opposed to the use of capital punishment under any circumstances. No compelling evidence exists to show that the death penalty serves as a deterrent to crime more efficient than imprisonment. Furthermore, any errors - inevitable in any legal system - are irreversible. The EU will continue supporting the universal trend towards the eradication of the death penalty.


Another Malaysian:| Prabu's final message before execution: Stay away from drugs

In his final hours behind bars, 31-year-old Malaysian Prabu Pathmanathan, who was executed this morning in Singapore, had a message to share.

A series of images taken during Prabu’s final photoshoot in prison was shared on the Facebook page of Singaporean anti-death penalty advocacy group “We Believe in Second Chances” this afternoon, several hours after his reported hanging for a drug trafficking offence.

Prabu wanted the photos to be shared with the public, as he wanted people to know his story and  "hoped to urge people not to be involved with drugs", the group said in the post.

According to the post, Prabu had conveyed the message to a friend who was the last person to visit him, along with his brother.

On Twitter, Singaporean journalist-activist Kirsten Han said she was informed by Prabu’s friend that the photographs were taken last night.

“From what I know, the prison asks the family to buy/bring the inmate civilian clothes, then they do a photoshoot at some point in the week before execution.

“The photos are then given to the family,” said Han.

The images showed Prabu dressed in a blue T-shirt and white headwrap.

He appeared calm in several photos, while he was captured with a wide smile in others, including one where he held a copy of the Hindu scripture Bhagavad Gita.

Lawyer N Surendran, who represents Prabu's family, said the execution was in breach of due process.

Surendran, who is also Lawyers for Liberty’s advisor, previously claimed that there were doubts concerning the drug trafficking conviction and noted that the vehicle in which drugs were found was driven by another person, and not Prabu.

Prabu was sentenced to death for committing several acts preparatory to and for the purposes of trafficking 227.82g of diamorphine or heroin into the island state on Dec 31, 2014. - Malaysiakini, 26/10/2018

Singapore really must stop executing people and move towards abolition of the death penalty just like neighboring Malaysia.

Singapore need to emulate Malaysia in becoming a more caring, compassionate and civilized nation. 
Really, to hang a young man for possibly his very first offence is really wrong and unjust. Most likely, it may have been caused by poverty...
The family of 31-year-old Malaysian Prabu N Pathmanathan were informed last week he would be executed on Friday..Prabu, 31, had been sentenced to death for committing several acts preparatory to and for the purposes of trafficking in 227.82g of diamorphine or heroin into the island state on Dec 31, 2014.

Law Minister to appeal to S’pore to commute Malaysian’s death sentence

PETALING JAYA: Datuk Liew Vui Keong will write a letter to the Singapore government to urge it to commute the death sentence of a Malaysian man who is scheduled to be executed on Friday (Oct 26).
The Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department said he hoped that Singapore would commute Prabu Pathmanathan’s sentence to life imprisonment.
Prabu, 31, had been sentenced to death for committing several acts preparatory to and for the purposes of trafficking in 227.82g of diamorphine or heroin into the island state on Dec 31, 2014.
“It will be a sad day. I hope they don’t do it,” he told reporters on Wednesday (Oct 24) when asked what would happen if Singapore went ahead with the execution.
Earlier on Wednesday, Lawyers for Liberty advisor N. Surendran urged Putrajaya to make “urgent and strenuous” efforts to save Prabu from the gallows.
Surendran said Prabu’s family had been informed that the execution would be held at Changi Prison on Friday for alleged drug trafficking.

“The family was only informed of the Friday hanging on Oct 20 via a letter from the Singapore Prison Services, which is less than one week’s notice.

“In the same chilling letter, the family was asked to make the ‘necessary funeral arrangements’,” Surendran said.
According to Surendran, there were doubts surrounding Prabu’s conviction, adding that the drugs was found in a vehicle driven by another person, and not Prabu.
He also claimed that the confessions obtained from Prabu by the prosecution for the trial were made under duress.
The Singapore Anti Death Penalty Campaign also called for the Singapore government to halt the execution of Prabu.
“Not only is it irreversible once an execution takes place, it also creates another set of victims – the loved ones of the executed,” it said in a statement.
On Oct 15, Liew had announced that the Malaysian government would go ahead with plans to completely abolish the death penalty in this country. – Star, 24/10/2018

Human rights groups urge Singapore to halt imminent executions

City-state expected to execute two men, including a Malaysian, following convictions for drug offences.

View through a vehicle window shows cell blocks inside Singapore's Changi Prison [Vivek Prakash/Reuters]
View through a vehicle window shows cell blocks inside Singapore’s Changi Prison [Vivek Prakash/Reuters]
Singapore is being urged to halt the planned execution on Friday of two men convicted of drug-related offences amid reports four people were hanged in the city-state in the past three weeks.
The family of 31-year-old Malaysian Prabu N Pathmanathan were informed last week he would be executed on Friday, human rights groups said. Another man is also scheduled to hang but has not been named.
“Singapore authorities must immediately halt plans to kill these men and put a stop to this recent wave of callous executions,” Rachel Chhoa-Howard, Amnesty International’s Singapore researcher, said in a statement.
Singapore reportedly hanged a man on Wednesday and three others on October 5 also for drug-related offences, the group said.
Lawyers for Liberty, a Kuala Lumpur-based legal firm that specialises in human rights cases, urged the Malaysian government to intervene to stop the hanging.
Executions are usually carried out at dawn at Changi Prison.
“The death penalty is cruel and inhuman and particularly so when used in drugs cases, which results in the execution of drug mules from poor socio-economic backgrounds,” the firm’s N Surendran said in a statement.


Admitting time was “running out”, Surendran and Prabu’s mother and sister delivered an appeal for clemency to Singapore’s president, Halimah Yacob, on Thursday.
“Malaysia has recognised the barbarity of the death penalty and has recently announced its total abolition. Having taken that position, the Malaysian government must do everything possible to save citizens abroad who are facing execution,” it said.
Malaysia’s government that was elected in May has suspended executions and announced its intention to abolish the death penalty for all crimes.
De facto law minister Liew Vui Keong said he would write to the Singapore government to request Prabu’s death sentence be commuted to life imprisonment, local media reported on Thursday. Prabu was sentenced to death in relation to the trafficking of 228kg of heroin into the island state at the end of 2014.
“It is time for Singapore to re-establish its moratorium on the death penalty and follow the government of Malaysia’s example,” Amnesty’s Chhoa-Howard said.
Amnesty said it believes Singapore has carried out six executions this year, all in relation to drug-offences. It said there were eight executions last year. Singapore does not publicly disclose information about its use of the death penalty.
Capital punishment was imposed or implemented for drug-related offences in 15 countries last year, but executions for such crimes were recorded in only four – China, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Singapore.
One-hundred and six countries across the world have abolished the death penalty for all crimes. – Al Jazeera, 25/10/2018









Thursday, August 23, 2018


Tips to manage stressful situations

It might surprise you to learn that biological stress is a fairly recent discovery. It wasn't until the late 1950s that endocrinologist Hans Selye first identified and documented stress. Symptoms of stress existed long before Selye, but his discoveries led to new research that has helped millions cope with stress. We’ve compiled a list of the top 10 ways to relieve stress.

Listen to music

If you're feeling overwhelmed by a stressful situation, try taking a break and listening to relaxing music. Playing calm music has a positive effect on the brain and body, can lower blood pressure, and reduce cortisol, a hormone linked to stress.
We recommend cello master Yo-Yo Ma playing Bach, but if classical really isn’t your thing, try listening to ocean or nature sounds. It may sound cheesy, but they have similar relaxing effects to music.

Call a friend

When you’re feeling stressed, take a break to call a friend and talk about your problems. Good relationships with friends and loved ones are important to any healthy lifestyle, and they’re especially important when you're under a lot of stress. A reassuring voice, even for a minute, can put everything in perspective.

Talk yourself through it

Sometimes calling a friend is not an option. If this is the case, talking calmly to yourself can be the next best thing. Don’t worry about seeming crazy — just tell yourself why you're stressed out, what you have to do to complete the task at hand, and most importantly, that everything will be okay.

Eat right

Stress levels and a proper diet are closely related. When we’re overwhelmed, we often forget to eat well and resort to using sugary, fatty snack foods as a pick-me-up. Try to avoid sugary snacks and plan ahead. Fruits and vegetables are always good, and fish with high levels of omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to reduce the symptoms of stress. A tuna sandwich really is brain food.

Laugh it off

Laughter releases endorphins that improve mood and decrease levels of the stress-causing hormones cortisol and adrenaline. Laughing tricks your nervous system into making you happy. Our suggestion: watch some classic Monty Python skits like “The Ministry of Silly Walks.” Those Brits are so hilarious, you’ll soon be cracking up, rather than cracking up.

Drink tea

A large dose of caffeine causes a short-term spike in blood pressure. It may also cause your hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis to go into overdrive. Instead of coffee or energy drinks, try green tea. It has less than half the caffeine of coffee and contains healthy antioxidants, as well as theanine, an amino acid that has a calming effect on the nervous system.

Be mindful

Most of the tips we’ve suggested provide immediate relief, but there are also many lifestyle changes that can be more effective in the long run. The concept of “mindfulness” is a large part of meditative and somatic approaches to mental health, and has become popular in modern psychotherapy. From yoga and tai chi to meditation and Pilates, these systems of mindfulness incorporate physical and mental exercises that prevent stress from becoming a problem. Try joining a class.

Exercise (even for a minute)

Exercise doesn't necessarily mean power lifting at the gym or training for a marathon. A short walk around the office or simply standing up to stretch during a break at work can offer immediate relief in a stressful situation. Getting your blood moving releases endorphins and can improve your mood almost instantaneously.

Sleep better

Everyone knows stress can cause you to lose sleep. Unfortunately, lack of sleep is also a key cause of stress. This vicious cycle causes the brain and body to get out of whack and only gets worse with time. Make sure to get the doctor-recommended seven to eight hours of sleep. Turn the TV off earlier, dim the lights, and give yourself time to relax before going to bed. It may be the most effective stress buster on our list.

Breathe easy

The advice “take a deep breath” may seem like a cliché, but it holds true when it comes to stress. For centuries, Buddhist monks have been conscious of deliberate breathing during meditation. For an easy three- to five-minute exercise, sit up in your chair with your feet flat on the floor and hands on top of your knees. Breathe in and out slowly and deeply, concentrating on your lungs as they expand fully in your chest. While shallow breathing causes stress, deep breathing oxygenates your blood, helps center your body, and clears your mind.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

"The secret of being boring is to say everything."- Kalingga Warrior

Some people are born with it, some have to work for it, and others do not know how to obtain it. It is something either one has or does not, but can always be accomplished over time. The question that many want answered it “what can I do to gain confidence?” I have learned that confidence is hard to achieve, but with friends, trust, and time it can be reached.

The denotation of confidence is the “belief in oneself and one’s powers or abilities.” Everybody is lacking confidence in something; not everyone is perfect. Whether it be giving a speech in front of the class, competing in a large competition, or accepting one’s appearance, people lack the confidence needed to enjoy life. Helen Keller said, “Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.” This quote is absolutely true because if one does not have confidence they can never achieve or go beyond what they want to do.

Recently, I have struggled with confidence in one of the most important aspects of my life: volleyball. With schoolwork, I feel completely confident in my work, but with volleyball it is a different story. Lately, I have been displeased and uncomfortable with my performance, instead of the ease that I used to play with. After every mistake, I would get down on myself and not shake it off, like one should. It has been hard for me to find out how gain and reach confidence. Through several talks from coaches and teammates, I finally believe that I am a good enough player and that I cannot let pressure get to me. Everyone else saw it besides me. I have learned that if one cannot believe in being able to do something, one will not do it. One really needs to be confident in what they do in order to succeed. I am slowly building my confidence by believing in myself and trusting in my abilities.

Some people have so much confidence that they are not afraid to do anything. Others are the complete opposite, and are scared of being judged or ridiculed by others. Self-confidence cannot be taught, but is reached by the individual when they decide to believe in themselves. In order to attain self-confidence, one needs to believe that they can do the task at hand. It cannot be accomplished overnight, but slowly gets stronger and stronger over a period of time. One of the major ways to obtain confidence is acting like one is confident, even when not. Acting will transfer into truly being self-confident and having high self-esteem. Another way to gain confidence is by talking to others. My example of gaining confidence is a true testament that this works. Talking to people that care will lift one up by talking about one’s terrific skills, boosting confidence level immediately.

In conclusion, confidence is a characteristic that everyone struggles with at one point, but can be achieved by trusting one’s abilities and speaking with others that are supportive. Mark Twain once said, “The worst loneliness is to not be comfortable with yourself.” Being comfortable in one’s own skin is the key to achievement and enjoyment in life, so start with some confidence.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

What to Expect Working as A Security Guard?

By Fahd Pasha

Are you in the market for a career that has companies hiring job seekers with little-to-no experience in the field – and, often, with full medical benefits and paid vacation? If you’re stumped to think of a role that ticks off these boxes, you wouldn’t be alone!
But this isn't a trick question: you might want to think of pursuing a job as a security guard.
A career as a security officer is often an overlooked profession in today’s culture. But security guards play a vital role in many aspects of today’s business, from construction sites to shopping malls. So let’s shine the spotlight onto what it takes to excel in the role before you put on that uniform.

Eligibility and License
First and foremost, a valid security license is typically a basic requirement to work as a certified security personnel in Canada. Depending on the province within which you live, to be eligible for a license, applicants must meet three requirements: Be 18 years of age or older; be allowed to work in the country; and have a clean criminal record.

You’ve got the license – now what?
In a world where protecting one’s assets are extremely important, the market for security guards in Canada is certainly healthy, with demand for professionals with the right training. After obtaining a security guard license, responsibilities can often vary from one type of to another. Here are some options you might commonly find:
  • Standard Security Guards: The most common security officer. These individuals work for private security companies and are assigned to different locations, such as banks or residential buildings.
  • Crowd Control Guards: Often hired to manage crowd behaviours for big public events and festivals.
  • Bodyguard: As depicted in many Hollywood films, a private bodyguard’s duty is to protect a specific person or a group of people.
  • Airport Security Guards: As the name implies, these are guards assigned to provide security in airport premises, protecting passengers against threatening events.
If you’re looking to advance your career as a security guard after you obtain your license, you may want to pursue additional certifications, such as a valid PAL (Possession and Acquisition License). By doing so, you can showcase to employers that you take your job seriously and strive to be the best security professional that you can be.

The best of both worlds
One of the top aspects of a career in the security industry is the opportunity to find something that works for you.
For instance, if you’re the kind of individual that feels a strong sense of duty, loves helping and protecting others and has a good eye for detail, you may be stationed at the front and centre of a building. This means you’ll be tasked with screening and greeting those arriving and ensuring that everyone entering the building is supposed to be there.
On the other hand, for the introverts out there, don’t count yourselves out as potential security officers. You might want to consider a night-time gig, which might include patrolling the vicinity you’re protecting and guarding against threats to property, such as theft and vandalism.
Pursuing a career as a security guard also has advantages for students in college or university – namely, flexible hours to suit your study schedule.

The skills you’ll need to survive
It may seem that “anyone” can take on a job in the security industry; however, that couldn’t be more far from the truth. There is a wide range of skills necessary to be successful in this field in the short-and long-term:
  • Communication Skills. As is the case for most jobs, the need for immaculate communication is integral to this industry. It will be your role to follow given protocol and communicate orders, which becomes necessary when working with a large crowd or with general public to ensure their safety.
  • Thinking on the spot. In some incidents, the need for security guards to use common sense and quick thinking is imperative, before a situation gets out of control.
  • Adaptability. Being a security guard is more than just patrolling your surroundings. You will need to be able to adapt to a number of different conditions and demands in order to successfully perform your job.
  • Always keep learning. With technology ever-changing, there is a need for security guards to be highly-trained and tech-savvy, including familiarity with many devices and systems. Continuous professional training is almost a pre-requisite for today’s security guards to meet industry requirements.

The world is your oyster
The security industry can also be a great stepping stone to many opportunities in the field of law, security and public safety. With a few years’ experience, a more seasoned job seeker can branch out into other careers, including as a private investigator, a police officer or corrections. It is important to determine which aspects of your job you like so you can pinpoint the direction you’d like your career to take.


Tuesday, July 25, 2017


Untuk Negaraku











MALAYSIA | Will have a generation of economically marginalized youth?

The unemployment rate in Malaysia came in at 3.4 percent in August of 2018, unchanged from the corresponding month of the previous year. ...