Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Where are the good Malaysian employers?

The best employers in Malaysia are foreign, based on a study by human resource consultancy Hewitt Associates in conjunction with The Edge, The Edge Financial Daily and Asian Strategy and Leadership Institute (ASLI).

Only two home-grown firms made it to the Top 10 – property developer SP Setia at No 6 and Telekom Malaysia at No 10.

That's a sad indictment of 53 years of Barisan Nasional (BN) rule. BN economic policy is characterised by secure monopolies, oligopolies or various protections for industries ranging from autos to banks, gambling, telecoms and satellite tv.

All this protection resulted in some very rich businessmen emerging – enough to support the largest Ferrari showroom outside Italy. That's right – the RM20m showroom was officially opened on 31 March in a glittering ceremony graced by royalty.

So, we can been proud that our richest can now compete with the best in the world. On the other end of the scale though, our workers are forced to compete against the most lowly-skilled in a race to the bottom for the lowest wages and worst working conditions.

The BN government often defends protectionist measures as necessary to defend the rakyat's interests. The survey results suggest otherwise. Opening more industries to foreign competition could lead to better working conditions and remuneration for the ordinary worker.

For the record, the top 10 employers are:

1. The Ritz-Carlton, Kuala Lumpur
2. American Express (M) Sdn Bhd
3. Four Seasons Resort Langkawi, Malaysia
4. Federal Express Services (M) Sdn Bhd
5. Agilent Technologies
6. SP Setia Berhad
7. Hilton Kuala Lumpur
8. Intel Technology Sdn Bhd
9. Golden Arches Restaurants Sdn Bhd 10.
Telekom Malaysia Bhd

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