June 30, 2022
Is the system broken?
In April 2022, the Human Resources Development Corporation (HRD Corp) launched its first micro-credential initiative that aims to empower locals to gain stackable certifications via short-term learning pathways. Nonetheless, with a charge of RM300 per pax for each training course, the initiative has recently sparked backlashes among employers from all industries. Words such as “Robbery”, “Corruption”, “Trick”, etc. were heard from disappointed employers, prompting debates regarding the credibility of the initiative.
The initiative certainly has good intentions, namely equipping employees with digital badges through industry-recognised programmes, and promoting lifelong education for all in a professional way. However, on top of mandatory participation, the imposition of a pricey cost for training programmes, especially during a time when our country is witnessing a sharp rise in inflation, not only discourages both employers and employees but also contradicts the whole purpose of the initiative.
Now, imagine this scenario: A two-day in-house programme that hosts up to 35 trainees would normally cost an employer about RM8,000 only, but with the launch of the micro-credential initiative by HRD Corp, such a programme requires another RM10,500 (RM300 x 35 Pax), amounting to a whopping total fee of RM18,500! Considering the amount is twice its usual charge, a company could conduct more than one session of the training programme with the same amount of funds! Besides, bigger companies are bound to have their cash flow disrupted and be taken advantage of by their large fund due to the said implementation. These lead to the question: Where does the additional money goes after employers have paid HRD Corp for the participation fee?
If this does not bother you, dear Malaysians, let us take a look at how past systems have been misallocating and abusing the fund invested by employers over the years.
In 2016, HRD Corp made it a must to channel the unutilised portion from the staggering 30% Human Resources Development Fund (HRDF) levy contributed by all registered employers every month to subsidise companies who cannot afford training programmes. This incident has raised major concerns in the business world, which the Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM) has also publicly objected to, citing that the plan is no different from an additional “Tax” imposed on employers.
Furthermore, one may easily recall that in January 2020, HRD Corp announced an unutilised levy mechanism period that is shortened from five years to two years. The nightmare forfeited tens of thousands of ringgits per employer with no concrete reasons given. And that is not the worst. Since the arrangement was brought upon during the early phase of the pandemic, a substantial number of employers even forfeited their funds when everyone is running out of measures to operate their business amid the pandemic peak. As a corporation whose sole purpose is to promote upskilling and add value to the Malaysian workforce, the HRD Corp certainly did not live up to its expectation.
Perhaps the highlight of the blatant daylight robberies created by the HRD Corp is the misuse of the RM300 million fund received by the corporation. Solid evidence about the shocking incident was submitted to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) in 2018 and according to the investigation, our former prime minister and his alliance misused the fund to purchase real estate, while top executives from the HRD Corp were given big fat cash bonuses as much as RM1.25 million. Unfortunately, as we may already know, there were no charges against the offenders involved despite the fact that those events have taken place and fury from Malaysians.
Scandals in the recent past have proven that the HRD Corp has been leveraging funds collected from companies for its greed in the name of the essential initiatives that would help the Malaysian labours. Such a corporation that targets to strengthen and revive our workforce, especially during the post-covid period, is one of the many reasons why companies are suffering from irrecoverable losses at the moment. With the General Election 15 fast approaching, one does wonder if the micro-credential initiative has anything to do with the poll. Or is the arrangement a sugar-coated scheme for its board of directors to gain a higher paycheque? Sadly, we have no ways to tell what is happening behind the scenes.
To watch a Youtube video on this scandal click here https://youtu.be/xR2lZr8HFso
What say you, dear employers?
If you are together with us, let’s send an objection letter together. We have already prepared an objection letter for you IF you don’t have ANY:
Download the objection letter (PDF file) here:
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