bardanMalaysian Employers Federation (MEF) reported an alarming numbers of Malaysians losing their jobs in the last 29 days.

MEF executive director Shamsuddin Bardan (pic) said more than 10,000 Malaysians have lost their jobs since Jan 1.

It could be worse Shamsudin Bardan predicted.

“At least 200,000 Malaysians risk losing their jobs in the manufacturing sector alone, as the global economic crisis worsening the federation,” told Utusan Malaysia on Jan 20.

In comparison only 85,000 Malaysians were retrenched during the 1997 Asian economic crisis.

In an urgent appeal to the Government yesterday, he said it was of utmost importance for the second economic stimulus package to be released fast so that companies could know clearly where they stood.

Shamsuddin said the economic downturn this time was much worse than the one in 1997 because it was more widespread globally.

The situation was more critical as almost 600,000 job seekers flooded the local market every year, he added.

Another factor that added to the woes of the jobless was the presence of 1.5 million to two million illegal foreigners vying for the same jobs.

Cut working days

In a related development, government will allow companies and factories to shorten their operations to three days a week, provided workers were agreeable to the move, Labour director-general Datuk Ismail Abdul Rahim said today.

He said the government’s main concern was to ensure minimal job loss and that companies continue to operate, albeit on a low gear.

He said it was necessary for employers to get the consent of the workers because if working days were reduced, workers would get less pay.

“It is the duty of the department to ensure that workers were adequately protected and at the same time, companies did not lose out,” Ismail told Bernama.