One common thing that Malaysian workers would agree on is that the minimum wage in the country is too low and people are suffering because of this. To make things worse, the rising cost of living puts more burden on the people’s shoulders.
Recently, a local university was being accused of practicing modern slavery after it posted a job offer for a research assistant with a pay of only RM5 per hour!
The job offer was posted on a public Facebook group, BioMedical Science of Malaysia, but it was being reposted on Twitter, where the matter went viral with many criticising the university.
This is legendary.— Timothy En Haw Chan (@timothykoala) January 12, 2022
RM5 (USD 1.2) per hour for research assistant, independent hand-on plus manuscript writing.
Job advertisement from Malaysia top tier university. pic.twitter.com/vctAzzqgRz
“We are looking for a temporary research assistant (RA) to work with us for at least 3 months. Preferable a candidate with lab work experience, can be independent and able to give full commitment in the research.” the employer wrote.
With the requirements and responsibilities given by the employer, it does seem that the pay of RM5 per hour is indeed exploitation.
After receiving the criticisms, the employer had in the comment section apologised for their mistake and clarified that the job offer was actually for a helper, and not a research assistant.
Sudah ada respon terkini. Ingatkan nk betulkan pasal gaji, rupanya tidak 😒 pic.twitter.com/pTYrjo81hD— Bukan Nama Sebenar (@n_z_a_r_d) January 12, 2022
Despite the explanation, people are still criticising them for offering such an extreme low pay rate.
A quick glance in the comment section revealed that most netizens had called out the local university for practicing modern slavery, adding that Malaysians are already severely underpaid, when compared to our counterparts working in other countries.
Some even made a meme and claimed that this was a big case of clownery.
In summary: pic.twitter.com/3jmY5KdstU— M (@MuniraMustaffa) January 12, 2022
As a matter of fact, many Twitter users said this was the salary that they received back in the early 2000s, and being a waitress too.
Coming back to 2022, netizens said their maid gets even better pay than this, and that even includes cost of living and vacation trips.
“I can bet that her work is less demanding than in a bio lab,” the netizen said.
Having said that, do you agree that Malaysians are generally underpaid and often being regarded as cheap labour? Share your thoughts!