Malaysian talents are easily distracted with too many ‘teh tarik’ sessions. Corporations reward meritocracy and productivity

KUALA LUMPUR: The hours Malaysians spend at work are not reflected in productivity, and this is one of the main reasons salaries remain stagnant, says a think tank.

In an interview with FMT, Asian Strategy and Leadership Institute (Asli) chief operating officer Ng Yeen Seen said wages in Malaysia had remained stagnant for many years.

She said wages were suppressed because of a reliance on low-skilled labour.

This reliance on low-skilled labour, which benefited business owners and kept wages down, led to a growing income disparity between the rich and the lower-income group.

This, she said, would eventually give rise to a host of other social problems such as higher unemployment rates.

The stagnant salary scale, she said, would also cause many to be unable to survive in urban cities, let alone save enough for retirement.

According to EPF statistics, some 89% of working Malaysians earn less than RM5,000 a month.

To resolve the problem of stagnant salaries, Ng said wages had to be increased but this was only possible if productivity increased.

“Malaysian talents are easily distracted. There are too many ‘teh tarik’ or ‘lepak’ sessions.

“And then there’s the time spent watching YouTube videos and on Facebook.

“It is very unproductive.”

Ng said this did not happen in developed countries, such as Australia and the United Kingdom, where she had worked in the past.

“In the UK, even though lunch breaks last for an hour, the employees in my office never took the full hour. We’d pick up a sandwich and coffee, and within 20 minutes, we’d be back at our desks.”

But Ng also noted that Malaysia’s corporate sector did not appreciate talent the way it should.

“Some companies really look after their workers but then many take their talents for granted. It works both ways. Employees need to show their worth and companies need to reward and appreciate them.”

Ng said when productivity was low, more of a company’s revenue ended up going to the company rather than the employees, and this was different from the situation in developed countries, where companies rewarded productivity.

When you have increased productivity, your costs actually go down. So in the long run, it is better to hire one good talent, who costs more in terms of salary than three cheaper workers who may not be as skilled and unproductive.”

Ng said the key to promoting productivity and attracting good talent was meritocracy.

“Organisations must make it clear that people are rewarded for good work rather than for race, religion or who they are.

“When you embrace meritocracy, productivity will follow.”

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Robert Chaen

Global CEO-Founder of ChangeU and Movsha Movers & Shakers, Hero-CEO Whisperer, Writer, The #1 Alpha Change Expert, Father of Asian FireWalking Robert Chaen is an International Keynote Speaker, writer, researcher, and corp games designer. He is famously known to be the “Hero-CEO Whisperer”, 1-on1 coaching with many CEOs and Celebrities for corporate strategies, staff & office political issues, personal branding, and even public figure OSHA safety drilling called Drager Defense. He has transformed CEOs and managers in Coca-Cola China, TVB Hong Kong, Cathay Pacific, Hong Kong Airport Services, VADS, TM, Public Bank, Auditor General's Office Maldives, etc. He is the prolific creator and online Author of innovative management tools such as DragonCEO, Diamond Leader, Papillon Personal Effectiveness, OSHA Drager Defense, KPI Bank, etc. He is also the Founder of Movsha, an international networking with monthly mingles with MOVers & SHAkers, Angels, Entrepreneurs, CEOs, Celebrities, HR-PR-CSR, HODs, and the Most Influential IDEA people. ​Chaen is widely considered as one of the top International Platform Keynote Speakers for Resorts World Genting Senior Management Conference (Manila), 7-Eleven HK, Samsung, Coca-Cola China Mini-MBA @Tsing Hua University, Cathay Pacific, Hong Kong Jockey Club, The Story Conference where he interviewed Datuk Kamarudin (Chairman of AirAsia) and Siti Nurhaliza. He has been widely featured in TVB, AWSJ, CNBC, SCMP, The Star, and Sin Chew. As “The Father of Asian FireWalking”, he coached TVB celebrities (Ekin Cheng Yee-Kin) to walk on 650°C fire; and raised HK$68M in the world’s 1st and only live TV Charity FireWalk (TVB Tung Wah Charity Show), before Tony Robbins even came to Asia. If Robert can get you to walk on 650⁰C fire, he can inspire you to be THE BEST. He champions CN-HK-EU-US Tycoons to be philanthropic, and to be angel investors to support the next generation of Jack Mas, Steve Jobs, Richard Bransons, Steven Spielbergs, or Barrack Obamas. With some slick motivational speakers with fake doctorates out there, graduates often describe Robert to be "the most credible, empowering, truthful Coach" who believe in his graduates to believe in themselves. ​However, clients have described Robert as "The #1 Cool Badass Alpha Change Expert". He has the coolest first class stature, rapport and trust from clients. He will not hesitate to tell the badass truth ever so gently because clients are paying him big bucks to reveal the truth, find solutions, persuade the hostile HODs, and align cross-teams within the organization. Originally based in Hong Kong for 20+ years, he had worked with top Branding/Ad agencies at J Walter Thompson and Leo Burnett, and was a certified FranklinCovey (7 Habits) in USA, and NLP MasterCoach (USA). His warmth is known to soften the most hardened, resistant sceptics. He will inspire your team to Go for Top 1, or to be a Dragon CEO. With boundless energies, Robert owns 15+ successful business Joint-Ventures, and created unique products under his global VC network called Chaen's Angels VC. He is deeply passionate about ChangeUTH Youth CSR, Science-Based Medicine (vs. quackery), short films and Reality TV. Touched by a personal tragedy through the loss of his HK-born Portuguese wife, co-coach and business partner, Brenda José of 18 years, Robert explores the many ways in which the spirit world is communicating with the living with real scientific studies and evidence. He gives inspiring conferences on The Secret Afterlife.

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