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R E T I R E M E N T    A G E


  1. I refer to report dated 19 April IN THE NST in which the Executive Director of MEF was quoted

Malaysian Employers Federation executive director Shamsuddin Bardan said the private sector preferred to adopt the present system where they offer employment to productive employees who retire to continue serving the company on contract basis. 

"Many companies are already offering employment to productive employees who retire to continue work for a two-to three-year period on contract basis. The services of these retired employees are reviewed when their contracts end," he said when commenting on the government's move to extend the retirement age for civil servants from 56 to 60 years. 

Shamsuddin said the problem with the blanket extension in retirement age was that the employers would have to continue giving employment to the sick, unproductive workers and problematic employees. 

He said the private sector felt that the best way was to give recognition to hard working and productive staff by offering them work on contract basis after retirement. 

  1. MEF stance is not surprising as they have long demonstrate that they only care about their members profits but not about our nationís overall productivity
  1. He is insulting all Malaysian workers and implies that those who are 54 years are all and sick, unproductive and problematic. We also do not see any valid arguments that increasing retirement age will reduce productivity. Productivity and efficiency is not an age issue. It is a management issue. This must be addressed whether retirement age is increased or not.  A worker may be unproductive whether he is 30, 50 54 or 56 years old
  1. MEF keeps on harping on productivity. The Malaysian Employers Federationís view on productivity improvement is simplistic Ė i.e. the more a worker produces, the more he is paid. Question is, how do you expect a rubber tapper to produce more if he still uses the same tool his grandfather used? It must be noted that spending on Research and Development by the private sector in Malaysia is extremely low
  2. MEF stance is directly responsible for the 3 million foreign workers in the country, which the country wants to abolish. Just compare Changi airport in Singapore where Singaporeans in their late fifties and early sixties are efficiently maintaining the airport, while KLIA is flooded with Bangladeshis.
  3. I challenge him to produce figures as to how many workers were actually offered continue employment apart from the high-powered managers and executive directors.
  1. If we were to accept MEFís argument, then there should not be a retirement age at all; everybody will have to be on a yearly contract so that they can throw out sick problematic and unproductive workers anytime.
  1. MTUC has always called for the retirement age in both public & private sector in Malaysia to increase to 60. It is high time and should be implemented immediately.  Please do not wait for another election results to do what is obviously need for the nation to move forward.

Andrew Lo

19 APRIL 2007

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