Saturday, February 27, 2010

Unemployment And Crime

On Feb 20th, it was reported that the government is targeting to reduce street crimes by 20% by year-end. It’s good that they recognize the crime rate is getting higher and the streets in Malaysia are not as safe. I would not bother much with this piece of news until I became the latest victim of snatch theft.

It happened on last Thursday, Feb 25th at Bukit Jelutong, Shah Alam. I got into my car after a quick grab of a pie from Secret Recipe. Before I started the engine, a man opened my passenger seat and grab my handbag from the foot of the seat. Another man was waiting right behind my car in a motorbike ready to speed off or to attack if things did not go as planned. Looking back, I breathed a sigh of relief that I wasn’t injured physically though it’s a great hassle to replace all my documents, phone and other belongings.

That sets me to do a bit of reading on recent spate of street crimes and sad to say, some of them had tragic endings. Why is it on the rise? Is it due to unemployment?

As we all would admit, unemployment is always an important reason why people resort to crime. For those who are unemployed and in desperate need of cash, they would resort to do anything. The correlation between these two is indisputable but sadly, the trend shows worrying increase.

But then, Malaysia unemployment is not as bad as compared to other countries. Beginning of last year, people had been predicting that Malaysia’s unemployment rate would rise to 4.5% but it did not happened. In fact, it has been quite stable throughout, resting at 3.6% as of 3rd quarter of last year.

But let’s not forget that unemployment of other countries play an important factor too. Comparatively, Malaysia seems to be doing better and that causes an influx of foreign workers, and the bad news is that not all enter the county legally. In 2008, it was reported that the crime caused by illegal immigrants was about 20%. Now, that’s something that we should really be concerned with.

Having said that, the scenario can be much worse if our unemployment rate is higher than predicted. Let’s continue to hope the employment outlook ahead will be better and not worse. We do not want to see too many desperate men on the streets, do we?

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Foreign Workers - To Have Or Not To Have Them?

At least 100,000 foreign workers were recruited over the past five months into Malaysia. That’s the figure given by the Human Resources Minister Datuk S. Subramaniam. A big number, that is. (Read more here)

More than a year ago, the same minister said we should not depend too much on foreign workers. Now, the tune has changed, citing that locals might have been at risk of losing their jobs because manufacturers would have been forced to relocate.

In Malaysia, it has always been a dilemma – to hire or not to hire foreigners. Of course, hiring foreigners is by far cheaper and employers that want to maximize profits would laud the recent move by the government. But if it’s done at the expense of taking away these job opportunities from the locals (which was refuted by the Minister), it would create another headache – what do we do with the unemployed locals?

People will go wherever the money is. We have locals who can’t find a decent job here left to other countries for greener pastures and here we are, having thousands and thousands of foreigners working here because their greener pastures is in this land. Isn’t that an irony?

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

When you can't attend an interview, you should...

Honestly, everyone knows the answer to tis. Sometimes I'm really not sure whether what I'm facing is basically and purely a Malaysian problem. Now why do I say that?

It must be a coincident but last weekend, I was supposed to have some plumbing work done at my house. This guy came the week before and had quoted the price. I said let's get the work done on the coming Saturday. He said he will start work early in the morning. I said fine but lets confirmed again on Friday. Mr Plumber did not call on Friday. Instead, I called on Saturday morning when I did not see any sign of him. He said he can only come at 11am. Ok, fine. I'll wait. 11am came and gone. I gave half an hour allowance, still no show, no call. I called again. He said 12 pm this time. 12 pm came and passed. Called again. His answer: On my way. 12:45pm. Still no sign. What kind of a person is this plumber? Yes, like every sane person, I was totally infuriated and because I do not tolerate such behavior since I'm paying, I called the whole thing off. I rather suffered a leaking pipe than having to bow down to a person who has no respect and consideration for others at all.

But ya know what, I am more ready to tolerate such misgivings because I know I am not dealing with a professional. But in my profession, I am dealing with professionals, who has certain amount of education and most would even have accumulated some years of working experience. And why on earth when they cannot attend an interview, they had chosen to park their brains somewhere and lost the wisdom of doing what is right?

How can we call ourselves professionals if we do not even understand such basic courtesy?

It has become so common nowadays that employers are numb to it. I sometimes get numbed too...when candidates promised to turn up for an appointment at a certain time - no show, no call. And when I made the call - almost guaranteed into the voice mail. But I don't care less about this when I was the only one affected. But it's a different case when the interview is arranged between the employer and the applicant and the fact that the employer has honored his part of the deal. I mentioned in an earlier article that this is the part of the job that I dreaded the most - having to apologize profusely to my client over a matter that was beyond my control. Of course, it also bruised my ego having to acknowledge my misjudgment of the candidate.

I'm afraid this problem is not gonna go away any time soon. It's like telling people to throw rubbish at dedicated bins and not wherever they fancy, how long does it take to see changes? Years and we are still not there yet.

So, does that means a good habit takes time to cultivate?

Virtues - where are they? And believe me, being responsible is such a rare virtue nowadays.

Want to know more about job hunting ethics? Read here.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Where Can Fresh Graduates Get Jobs?

Online Job sites, newspapers, recruitment agencies, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and etc. etc. The array of choices for job seekers to look for jobs nowadays is tremendous, a tad too much sometimes.

And what’s more? Universities and colleges in Malaysia are also doing their part to ensure their graduates get jobs. They organize career fairs. Of course, this will boost up the reputation of their institute – taking note the needs from enrolment to employment of their students. Bravo!

Some of the confirmed career fairs happening this month and next are:-

1. Universiti Tenaga Nasional Career Fair
Date: 3rd & 4th February 2010
Time: 9 am to 5 pm

2. Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Career Fair
Date: 23rd, 24th & 25th February 2010
Time: 9 am to 5 pm

3. Universiti Sains Malaysia Career Fair
Date: 5th to 7th March 2010
Time: 9 am to 5 pm
Venue: Dewan Utama Pelajar, USM

4. UCSI University Career Fair 2010
Date: 10th to 11th March 2010
Time: 10 am to 4 pm
Venue: Multipurpose Hall, Level 4, UCSI University

5. TARC Career Fair 2010 (ACCA/CIMA Students)
Date: 9th March 2010
Time: 9:30 am to 5 pm
Venue: Club-House Function Room, TARC KL Campus


So, all the best to you, fresh graduates!

A note to the employers – if you cannot afford the time or money to have a career booth set-up but keen to hire fresh graduates for your entry-level positions, there is a solution. Currently, Allyhunt is providing the service of promoting the positions of employers that purchased their job posting package during career fairs. It’s an awesome deal – click here to find out more!