Human Resources Minister M. Kula Segaran said the ministry will discuss the matter with the Finance Ministry before making a decision.
“We have given our opinion and have forwarded the matter to the Finance Ministry, including a request to increase the cost of living allowance (COLA),” he said.
Kula Segaran was speaking to reporters at a programme to plant trees held at Taman Dr Seenivisagam, Ipoh here today. Also present were Kepayang exco Dr. Ko Chung Sen and Ipoh Mayor Datuk Ahmad Suaidi Abdul Rahim.
Yesterday, the Malaysian Trade Union Congress (MTUC) urged the government in Budget 2020 to introduce the COLA monthly allowance of RM500 or more to private sector employees and increase the mandatory retirement age to 65 years.
Asked if the proposal could affect employment opportunities for the younger generation, Kula Segaran said the proposed increase in retirement age would benefit the country in the future.
“The country lacks workforce, there is no lack of job opportunities. We are taking in a lot of foreign workers because the country does not have sufficient labour force,” he said.
He said the unemployed in the country were mostly youths, including fresh graduates.
He urged unemployed youths to join Technical and Vocational Training (TVET) programmes which would provide them with skills that would increase their job opportunities.