Higher wages no guarantee locals will take on 3D jobs

Angie Tan

Employers say locals tend to shun labour-intensive sectors like construction as they don’t like to get dirty or work in the sun and rain. – The Malaysian Insight file pic, July 8, 2020.

PAYING locals higher wages is not the main problem as Malaysians still shun 3D (dirty, difficult and dangerous) jobs, said employers.

This is especially so in labour-intensive sectors, such as construction and agriculture, they told The Malaysian Insight.

Effective July 2018, access to full reports will only be available with a subscription. Sign-up now and enjoy one (1) week free access!

Subscribe Now!

Sign up or sign in here to comment.


  • Being a player in the so called 3D industry, I fully agree that raising wages will NOT get locals to join in general. Some will, out of genuine interest but the majority will find it backbreaking. They'll do it for a few months but will constantly be on the look out for less arduous jobs. As a employer, I can't be having constant turnover as it doesn't meant these 3D jobs do not need training and some skillets

    Posted 4 weeks ago by J R

    • If foreigners are Pd RM2500 to RM3000,pls pay higher wages to locals.If the take home pay is around RM5,000 many locals willing to do the 3D jobs. Employers mentality is to pay low and harvest maximum.

      How long are we going to dependent on foreign workers.We need to innovate and digitalises to give locals the jobs.

      Posted 4 weeks ago by Gunasakaran Sreerangan

  • Its not just about the money. Construction workers are not regarded as skilled in Malaysia and their social status is low. Quality standards are not a major issue either resulting in some clients facing shoddy workmanship due to lack of Quality controls. Never mind the high number of accidents on sites. What is the answer to this poor image? Proper 3 year apprenticeships for all construction trades. 4 years for electrical engineers. Not college based but combined with practical work. By increasing the technical ability and improved standards on sites, social standing will increase. Look at the trades in high income countries. Locals quite happily work in the cold rain heat and sun because they are well respected as skilled workers.

    Posted 4 weeks ago by Malaysia New hope