News: Malaysia launches national HR policy framework

Strategic HR

Malaysia launches national HR policy framework

With a policy framework in place, Malaysia is poised to introduce more extensive worker protections and benefits.
Malaysia launches national HR policy framework

KUALA LUMPUR – Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim has unveiled the National Human Resources Policy Framework (NHRPF) designed to address key workforce and HR issues in the country. The new program consists of three cores and 11 strategies that were developed through feedback from shareholders and the Malaysian public.

“This framework addresses crucial issues related to workers, such as fair compensation, job welfare, labour union movements, job mismatches, and foreign labour,” said HR Minister Steven Sim Chee Keong, adding how the framework will serve as a guide in formulating the comprehensive national HR policy for the 13th Malaysia Plan.

Increasing workers’ pay

One of the NHRPF’s first projects involves increasing the wages of Malaysian employees through the Progressive Wage Policy. This pilot project will be launched in collaboration with the Ministry of Economy in June.

According to Sim, the Madani government has already allocated MYR 50 million (US$10.5 million) to fund the project, which is expected to benefit more than one million workers in the country.

In November, the Malaysian Parliament received the proposed white paper on the Progressive Wage Policy. This was part of the government’s plan to increase the median wage of workers and their share of compensation. Not only will the strategy cover the remainder of the 12th Malaysia Plan, but it will also be implemented over the next decade.

Regarding the HR Ministry’s initiatives, Sim said that the government has earmarked MYR 2.56 billion (US$540 million) to train Malaysians in various in-demand fields, including AI, robotics, green economy, and 5G technology.

Wage hike for civil servants

During this year's Labour Day celebration, Prime Minister Ibrahim also presented the government’s plan to increase the pay of civil servants by as much as 13%. The goal is to set the minimum monthly income of these workers to more than MYR 2,000 (US$422).

To achieve this, Ibrahim said they have allocated MYR 10 billion (US$2.1 billion) to fund the initiative. News of the planned pay hike came as Malaysia continues to struggle with various economic challenges. The ringgit is now 3.9% weaker compared to the US dollar, even reaching a 26-year low just this February.

The government and central bank attribute Malaysia's economic struggles to external factors. However, both are optimistic that the country will be able to bounce back this year.

Malaysia is expected to achieve a full-year economic growth of 4% to 5% this year, which is better compared to the 3.7% growth that the country experienced in 2023.

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Topics: Strategic HR, Talent Management, Compensation & Benefits

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