Today is International Labour Day, which falls on May 1st every year. We are thankful today for our country’s low unemployment rate of only 3.3 per cent in January 2013. This is a much lower rate if compared to several advanced countries such as Spain (26.2%), the Eurozone (12%), France (10.7%), United States (7.9%) and Australia (5.4%).
We are also grateful that our cost of living is under control as reflected in the increased figures of the inflation indicator for January of 1.3 percent, grateful with the improvement of our living standards as reflected in the relative poverty rate which have declined to 1.7 per cent and in increase in per-capita income to USD$9,700 in 2012.
Nevertheless, the Government is conscious of the need to double up on efforts to improve the skills of our workforce. In creating a more skilled workforce, we have provided RM3.7 billion in the 2013 Budget in order to train students in technical and vocational fields. This in line with the Government’s mission of making Malaysia a high-income nation by 2020.
In addition to that, we have also improved and amended the Social Security Act 1969 to raise the eligibility age for the Invalidity Pension Scheme in order for it to be consistent with the Minimum Retirement Age Act of 2012.
Each of the successes that had been achieved by this country is due to Barisan Nasional (BN)’s commitment in consistently working to do our best for all Malaysians. Success takes decades to build, but damage can happen in the blink of an eye. Over the past five decades, our successes in Malaysia have been built together and we have also been working very hard to maintain them. Please do not let it all unravel. Support a government that has always fulfilled its promises and whose authority can be trusted.
Happy Labour Day to the Malaysian workforce. Let us take in the theme of this year’s Labour Day celebrations – “Workers are the Catalyst for National Transformation”.