|Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad , former prime minister of Malaysia.|
A recent interview
What he said
Well, if you go to Japan, you will find that the people who work as waiters or in the services industry are Japanese. While there may be some foreigners, mostly the work is done by the Japanese. Their economy is huge and they need manpower but the manpower is domestically provided.
But in Malaysia, we are unwilling to acquire the skills, or the willingness to work, as a result foreign workers come in. Foreign workers, when they come, they earn money and they must send back their money to their own homes, so that causes an outflow of money.
Now, if we have Malaysians doing all the work – and they need not be dirty or dangerous because we can find new ways of keeping places clean and all that – I think then we will not have a need for foreign workers.
We may run short of certain things, but we don’t need so many foreign workers. It is estimated we have almost 7 million foreign workers legal or illegal. Why do they come here? Because there are job opportunities. If there are no job opportunities, they wouldn’t come.
I mean, you can’t find Malaysians migrating to some of the other Asean countries because there is no opportunity.
So, there are opportunities in Malaysia but you are not taking up those opportunities and you give them to others. Then you complain, “We are losing opportunities for ourselves.”
You want the opportunities? You must be willing to do the work. You must be willing to be trained and upgrade your skills, your command of English, and so on.
In the case of dangerous, dirty work or 3D (dirty, dangerous and difficult), those that rich people try to avoid, the Japanese resolved this by devising automation and robots.
For example, they can programme everything and leave the machine to do the job. They can go home and the next morning, everything is done. That’s the way to go.
Invest your money in ways to produce things more efficiently and by doing less dangerous work. You don’t have to do things with your hands… all these things you don’t have to do because the robots can do it for you.
In fact, the Japanese used technology not only to resolve 3D jobs, they also apply technology for entertainment, pleasure, life support, daily work, transportation, and so on and so forth. (I probably didn’t need to tell you that.) What surprises me is that the Japanese don’t manufacture the best-selling mobile phone. But then again, that’s probably not a technology problem, it’s probably more of a marketing problem, due to their language skills.
So what are the 3D Jobs that Tun Dr Mahathir spoke about?
“Dirty, Dangerous and Demeaning” (often “Dirty, Dangerous and Demanding” or “Dirty, Dangerous and Difficult”), also known as the 3Ds, is an American neologism derived from the Asian concept, and refers to certain kinds of labor often performed by unionized blue-collar workers.
The term originated from the Japanese expression 3K: kitanai, kiken, kitsui (respectively 汚い “dirty”, 危険 “dangerous”, きつい “demanding”), and has subsequently gained widespread use, particularly regarding labor done by migrant workers.
Any task, regardless of industry, can qualify as a 3Ds job. These jobs can bring higher wages due to a shortage of willing qualified individuals and in many world regions are filled by migrant workers looking for higher wages.
|Agriculture, manufacturing and construction are some industries that are perceived to involve “3D Jobs”. Can technology save the day?|
Here’s another description of the 3D jobs from the perspective of the Malaysian Employers’ Federation (MEF):
MEF executive director Datuk Shamsuddin Bardan said Malaysians typically avoid working in sectors like agriculture or any industry that involves manual labour because society does not view them as highly-respected career choices.
“Malaysians shun 3D jobs not because of low wages. The 3D jobs are looked down socially and people doubt the 3D jobs are given any recognition,” he told Malay Mail Online when contacted.
He said in order to encourage more locals into 3D sectors, these industries must be modernised and mechanised, and must provide better job incentives.
“We can encourage locals to perform the 3D jobs. However the way the jobs are performed needs to be transformed.
“Greater mechanisation and modernisation needs to be introduced and implemented. Government, employers, trade union and employees need to work closer to transform the way we perform our works in the 3D sector,” he added.
How to find ideas for 3D Job Innovations
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