Companies ordered to reveal PLC ethnic recruitment September 12, 2007Posted by elizabethwong in Current Affairs, Economy, Heritage, Huh?!, Malaysia, Note2Self, Politics, Race Relations.
Woah. Is PM/FM is showing off his latent skills for fractions?
Supposing, a company has Chin-glish, Chinese-Malay, Indian-Chinese, Malay-Irish, Dutch-Javanese-Semoi, Kadazandusun-Malays etc, how would they all add up? Got bonus points?
Fact is, that’s Malaysia for you. Melting-pot. Rojak. Gado-gado. Faham?
Sep 11, 5:13 AM EDT
By SEAN YOONG, Associated Press Writer
Malaysia orders companies to reveal recruitment figures by race
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Malaysian executives urged the
government Tuesday not to make race a criterion for hiring, reflecting
fears that some companies will have to employ more ethnic Malays at
the expense of minority Chinese and Indians.
Companies listed on Malaysia’s stock exchange are generally expected
to have a significant number of employees from the Malay majority. The
rule – part of affirmative action policies to help Malays – has not
been strictly enforced, but most large firms mix Malay staff with
Chinese and Indians.
Though Malays are in a majority in the population, ethnic Chinese have
long dominated the country’s commercial sector.
Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi announced Friday that starting
next year, publicly listed firms must disclose their employment
composition by race as part of efforts to boost corporate social
The directive has prompted debate about whether the government might
pressure companies to ensure that their racial mix mirrors Malaysia’s
ethnic makeup more closely.
Puan Chan Cheong, managing director of broadband technology provider
Green Packet Bhd., said firms need to hire people who are “the best
fit for the job, regardless of race,” in order to compete
“We employ according to merits,” Puan told The Associated Press.
“Competency is the key consideration, not racial composition.”
Gooi Seong Lim, managing director of investment holding company
Crescendo Corp. Bhd., said the company sometimes has no choice but to
recruit mostly Chinese and Indians for civil engineering works because
there are too few Malay candidates.
“I believe the government will be reasonable,” he told the AP. “It
would be very difficult to conform to a strict racial breakdown.”
Malays comprise about 60 percent of Malaysia’s 27 million people.
Chinese form some 25 percent, Indians nearly 10 percent and the rest
belong to other minorities. The ethnic communities have coexisted
peacefully since racial riots left at least 200 dead in 1969. They
were sparked by Malay frustration over Chinese wealth.
The New Straits Times newspaper quoted Second Finance Minister Nor
Mohamed Yakcop as saying the government will not necessarily penalize
companies that fail to have employees from all races after the new
directive takes effect next year.
“We are not saying we will take action,” the Times quoted him as
saying. It was not immediately clear how the new directive would be
Decades-old affirmative action policies – geared toward helping Malays
catch up with the Chinese by giving them privileges in areas like
education, housing, bank loans and government contracts – are one of
Malaysia’s most politically sensitive subjects.
(c) 2007 The Associated Press.