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Malaysians have a third of 2012 for rest days

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Workers in Malaysia will enjoy at least 36% of this year, or 121 days, away from work.

Although that figure includes weekends and public holidays, it does not factor in employees’ annual leave. But not everyone is thrilled at the prospect of more off days, The Star reported.

Tan Sri Soong Siew Hoong, chairman of the Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers SME committee, said it is unnecessary to replace public holidays that fall on Sunday with Mondays. Sham­suddin Bardan, Malaysian Employers Federa­tion executive director, agreed, adding companies will be less productive if workers are always on leave.

Meanwhile, in order to boost efficiency at work, the Malaysian government has engaged nine HR and education service providers to help graduates become more employable. The contracts, which total RM$60 million, will fund programmes aimed at training unemployed graduates to make them more marketable.

“A high level of knowledge in the critical sectors is very important if we are to achieve the high skills and knowledge-based economy where everyone gets better salaries and we are no longer a labour-intensive independent economy,” Datuk Sri Dr. S. Subramaniam, Malaysian Human Resource Minister, told StarBiz.

The graduates will be trained in industries such as tourism, hospitality, information technology, logistics, finance and accounting, project management, safety and security, and human capital.

Subramaniam said one reason why unemployment amongst graduates is so high could be because the curriculum of universities are very generic, causing students t be unable to meet employer’s expectation.

He added such training programmes will not only upgrade employees’ skills but also put them on an international standard. “By making the transition to an economy that is more knowledgeable, we are reducing the need for foreign workers,” he said.

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