Tuesday, June 17, 2008

I Was Planning To Write That This Was A Good Time To Raise GLC Staff Pay When...

I was planning to write about this being the best time for the government to raise GLC pay when I read Khazanah's backing a 100% pay hike for TNB's boss instead. On the back of this rubbish, as well as TNB's suppression of staff pay increases at a level likely below inflation rate this year, my proposal would probably be pretty much a wasted effort.

Oh well, since I was planning anyway...

There is one unifying reason why many of the best Malaysian talents leave to work and eventually live in another country, what's called the 'brain drain'. No, it is not because of the DEB, as Malays account for a sizable number of those leaving these days, many to the Middle East and interestingly a majority emigrating to Australia are now Malays.

The reason is because Malaysian pay sucks. I mean seriously, Malaysian pay, for the same quality of talent, is not enough to make the best Malaysian professionals loyal to the nation! The reason for this is because GLC pay has been and continue to be suppressed year-on-year, despite the increased need for quality in these firms as they mature.

As GLC's in Malaysia so dominate the employment scene, the pay rate for THE ENTIRE PRIVATE SECTOR in Malaysia is poor relative to the region! This is as non-GLC's, even MNC's, don't really need to pay much more to secure the best talent available (what's left?) in the country.

The pathetic Malaysian pay is one reason why many work in Singapore at local pay rates - the pay in purchasing power terms is generally higher even before converting. This is also the reason why Malaysian medical grads prefer to stay on in the UK until they become specialists as the money only rolls in when you're a specialist back home!

GLC's tend to be all nationalist when challenged about this, citing 'national service' for instance. The problem is, how can a professional reasonably perform 'national service' when he or she's forced to make ends meet with the pathetic pay the GLC's continue to pay.

The clever 1/3 economist running around on the 4th floor is sure to say that raising GLC pay by say 25-30% a year for 3 years, the minimum increment needed for middle-management downwards, would be inflationary. However, as Pak Lah has stuffed up inflation control in the country this year anyway, why don't they do something right for a change!

Then maybe we can start reigning in the 'brain drain' at long last, as MNC's, the rest of the private sector and perhaps even the civil service are forced to follow suit.

And if the GLC's complain about the salary impact on their P&L, ask them to cut the CEO and CFO salaries first before kicking out all the expats and replacing them with returning talent. They're paying some expats in GLC 7-10X what they would pay a local currently anyway... have a heart for us Malaysians... please...?


Nurul said...


Point well elaborated. As a GLC employee, I couldn't agree more! With the uncertainties unravelling in front of our eyes under the Lah-ist government and the Aras 4 puppet masters running riot, astute Malay professionals will just turn their backs and leave for more money in ME, Australia etc. The way I see it, we use to be proud working for GLCs because TDM showed us the way for us all to walk-talk-act above the West (US especially). Now, we are not walking as tall as we use to because the Government now is behaving more like "prostitutes" to the West. I dare not think what will happen if DSAI becomes PM which I was told is not a question of how but rather when!!!

Saiful Nang said...

as a founder of a small business. I have to raise salaries to all my employees. That's another way to remain the good ones in the company. Else...they'll be migrated someday. Same goes to the whole Malaysian i believe, some will be migrated and work outside and pay tax outside. Just that, I only have 9 staff to feed.

(Thanks Akhram, got us text)

Asni xbp90 said...

Talking about all these energy crisis and pay rises to professional, what we should pressure the government and the private sectors are giving all possible avenues to all Malaysian from our 'opah' in the kitchen( historically there were chemistry marvels discovered in the kitchen) to top scientist to be inventive and creative in tackling the energy crisis by giving them incentives. Most Malaysian pressure the government to reduce fuel price but it is not a solution but a move just to make our anger subside and gather back our 'feel good' feeling so we can continue to take the cheap oil for granted again!
My nephew just graduated in Chemistry and his final year project was a research on developing fuel cell. After graduation he was lucky to be hired in the chemistry line(latex, polymer industry)but to my amazement most of his peers were not in the chemistry industry (eg. banking) its a waste of talent and govt should take this opportunities to hasten the R&D on alternative energy by utilizing these chemist before their knowledge goes down the drain. Even we interested ordinary people can perform so experiment at home, who knows we might find something. Organize a contest for people to invent, give grant to inventors, stimulates science graduates ,this is what a developed nation should be..invent and not just use

Asni xbp90

Letting the time pass me by said...

This is difficult time in Malaysian economy....

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