Help people, don’t encourage taking second job, MTUC tells Putrajaya

KUALA LUMPUR (Dec 28): Instead of encouraging individuals to take two jobs to cope with the rising cost of living, Putrajaya should think of ways to ensure that people are able to support themselves and their families, the country’s top trade union said today.

Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) secretary-general N. Gopal Kishnam said Deputy Minister Datuk Ahmad Maslan’s suggestion was not constructive, and urged the government to come up with different approaches to address the issue for every worker in the country, whether private or public sector employees.

“A similar idea was brought up a few years ago. Thus, the MTUC urges the government to withdraw such recommendation and should discourage citizens of this country from holding down two jobs,” the union said following the deputy international trade and industry minister’s statement.

Astro Awani had reported Ahmad Maslan as saying the government encouraged those in the low-income group to work two jobs, and that it was not uncommon as it was done by many around the world.

His remark has since earned him wide criticism among social media users.

Gopal Kishnam said research also had proven that having two jobs would lead to negative impact in terms of health and productivity of the workers.

“They won’t have quality time with their family, and if this happened, we worry that more social problem will be occurred in the long-run.”

“If the government continues to promote the two jobs scheme, it will affect the overall productivity of the organisation they are working for, and the nation at large,” he said.

He said MTUC would bring the matter to the Human Resources Ministry and the Prime Minister in the near future to find ways to increase wages of workers in the country.

“We hope that the employers’ organisation will also say no to this kind of recommendation.”

The portal also reported that civil servants too could run online businesses but the main commitment should be their day job.

Meanwhile, the Congress of Unions of Employees in the Public and Civil Services (Cuepacs) president Datuk Azih Muda said doing more than one job might affect the performance of such workers and for civil servants, it might backfire on them if their services declined.

“We don’t really agree with Ahmad Maslan’s (statement). Of course we encourage people to work to generate income if they can, but what worries us is that it can affect performance and productivity,” he told The Malaysian Insider.

“We are not saying that it (two jobs) is not good but it will have a bad implication on government service,” he added.

He said the government needed to understand that those who had more than one job were forced to do it as it was not an option for them.

“It’s not that they want to do it. It is because of survival. They have to do two jobs even though it may affect productivity.

“Let say you finish your work at 5pm, and after that you continue with your second job until midnight. So, when you are working more than 16 hours daily, you no longer have the energy and when you go to work the next day you will be sleepy,” he said adding that many civil servants had two jobs, especially the low-income and middle-class group.

He also relayed the fear of office assets or equipment being used by some workers to carry out their other jobs, such as online business.

“We don’t really encourage civil servants to do two jobs because at the end of the day, we worry that people will blame us if the service provided is not good enough.”

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