Reasons to fume over Maslan’s ‘work two jobs’ solution

VIEWPOINT: Work–life balance is a concept of prioritising career and ambition against lifestyle (family, health, leisure, and spiritual) aspects of a person. This seems completely alien to Ahmad Maslan.

Development, in the 21st Century, does not mean human beings have to exert more in terms of creating value, through knowledge, skills and abilities but to have greater freedom to express and experience all facets of life as against merely being a drone. Again, this seems even more alien to Ahmad Maslan.

Development should be in tandem with growth within an economy and mankind. It’s not to revert back to the dark ages where in feudal times human beings were seen as slaves. Is this Ahmad’s mindset of development in Malaysia?

The International Trade and Industry deputy minister has been hit by a barrage ofwidespread indignation over his recent suggestion that Malaysians take on two jobs to cope with the rising costs of living.

“I think it’s not wrong (to have additional jobs) though we have regulations, but it is still one way to address rising costs,” he was quoted as saying last Saturday.

“Malaysians could start an online business for extra income,” he said, adding that one could work during office hours and still run an online business on the side.

But, it didn’t end there.

On Monday, Ahmad suggested that Malaysians join the Airbnb global home-share programme to earn extra money at little cost.

“#2kerja airbnb.com List of homestays in 190 countries including Msia. Cost of holidays becomes cheaper & owners get revenue,” was what he posted in Bahasa Malaysia on his Twitter handle @ahmadmaslan.

Malay Mail Online reported that his message baffled some hoteliers who have sought to distinguish home-stay programmes from “house-stays,” which are essentially Airbnb-like services in which house-owners host tenants for a shorter time period.

Ridicule only seemed to have emboldened Ahmad to ramble on which led to an ‘open season’ in the hunt against him.

In full time and contract employment — which are bound by a contract – it’s specified that an employee (mainly professionals) are not allowed to take on second jobs, if they do they could be sacked.

DAP Labour Bureau chief A Sivanesan said an employee in the public sector has to get prior written approval from the head of department (to take on another job) and “that failure will result in the employee being subjected to disciplinary action.”

For low-income earners, did it occur to the deputy minister that they may not have the facilities to start an online business? To take on a second job for them would mean that they have to spend more on travelling costs, food and sacrifice any free time with the family and other obligations.

Fellow Umno MP Shahrir Abdul Samad said an overworked population will affect the “welfare of families.”

Umno rebel Khairuddin Abu Hassan, also jumped in: “We should not devote all our time to making money, to the point we neglect to supervise and nurture our children. Children also need time with their parents, and families need time together every day to maintain familial closeness.”

Taking on second jobs also means that there would be less time for rest, and in the long run, productivity or performance of the person will be affected, let alone having more health issues.

Malaysian Trades Union Congress secretary general N Gopal Krishnam said the idea was not constructive as it would affect personal and family life.

“Research has shown that having two jobs will lead to a negative impact on health and productivity,” he said, adding that this could lead to social problems in the long run.

Wanita Keadilan Chief Zuraida Kamaruddin pounced on Ahmad saying that his logic is questionable and he appears to be disorientated.

“He and the BN government are disconnected from the suffering of the people. A caring government should always find ways to alleviate the difficulties and sufferings of its people,” she said in a statement on Monday

Perlis Mufti Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin said ministers should find solutions to help the people, not suggest measures that might further burden them.

“A minister should be someone who is level-headed, wise and competent in solving the problems of the rakyat and the country,” he said.

He cited that the average monthly household income in Malaysia last year was RM4,585 with mean household expenditure at RM3,578.

by K Harinderan
31 Dec 2015 – Ant Daily
Reasons to fume over Maslan’s ‘work two jobs’ solution


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