Thursday, January 22, 2009


No lay-off of workers in Sabah so far despite economic crisis, says Yee


The State Government has not received any specific reports of workers in Sabah being laid off because of the economic crisis, according Resource Development and Information Technology Minister Datuk Dr Yee Moh Chai.

He said the Government is constantly monitoring the situation although the private sector is not obliged to report to the State Government if they are laying off staff. Speaking to reporters after giving away ang pows and goodies bags to the needy in the Sports Toto’s annual charity campaign, Yee said while there is no specific law to compel companies in the private sector to report any lay-off, it does not mean that the Government is not concerned about the welfare of the people.

He said the Government is watching the employment situation in the State because it is aware of the fact that there are incidences of unemployment in Peninsular Malaysia and neighbouring countries like Singapore because of the global economic crisis. To a question if there would be enough jobs to go around, Yee said:

“Unemployment has always been a problem in the country and no doubt, in Sabah as well. To say that there are jobs for everyone of course would be the ideal situation and as I have said many times before we have created a job centre in Sabah as the State Government was, at that time aware that this was going to happen.

“So we were well armed in the sense that we have provided training to people and still continue to provide training courses to people who are going to be without a job and let’s hope by doing that, we will be able to at least ease the problem caused by the economic downturn and be able to face it better,” he said.

He also allayed fears of Sabahans over difficulties in securing jobs when more qualified Malaysians who have been working overseas decide to return home to work.

“We certainly are aware of the fact that there will be more people returning from places like Singapore and Peninsular Malaysia and the fear of the locals is that since they are more skilled, they would grab the jobs.

“That is not necessarily true because they are most likely to have been doing jobs of a different nature. So there is no competition because their skills would be of a different nature,” he said, adding that the fear is unfounded.

On the appeal by CUEPACS to the Federal Government not to lay off contract workers because of the economic crunch, Yee said while there are contract workers in Sabah’s civil service, he is not aware of any deliberate termination of their contracts because of the crisis.

“There are certainly contract workers in the Civil Service but I am not aware of any so-called termination of employees, but no doubt, there will be contracts ending and which may not be renewed,” he said.