#2Kerja: In Malaysia today, it’s not a matter of choice


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#2Kerja: In Malaysia today, it’s not a matter of choice
By Zan Azlee

Working multiple jobs to make ends meet is not uncommon. I personally know many people who struggle to make a living, having to hold on to two or even three jobs.

There are those who work a desk job by day and drive an Uber service by night and on weekends. There are those who are waiters on a regular basis but sell vape equipment part time.

There are many people I know who work government jobs by day, but have to either sell clothes, jewellery, Tupperware or Amway products to supplement their monthly salary.

It’s true what Deputy Minister Datuk Ahmad Maslan says. If you need more money, take on multiple jobs. You work hard, you earn more.

He also says working a second job could be as easy as running an online business. Simple, right? But ask any online business operator and they will tell you the actual amount of work that goes into it.

He then tweets that holding the posts of Member of Parliament, Deputy Minister and Information Chief of Umno is akin to working multiple jobs.

Netizens were not amused.

But the Deputy Minister later says his comments on the #2Kerja issue were blown out of proportion.

Well, that’s what happens when an elected representative misreads the pulse of the people.

#2Kerja should be a choice, not a necessity

To the Deputy Minister, I have this to say: in any decent economy, the choice to supplement one’s income is exactly that, a choice.

It should not become a necessity because a decently working economy would be able to provide for its members a way to earn a living and yet also guarantee a quality of life that is humane.

If someone works a day job from 9am to 5pm everyday and then is forced to work a second job after that, when would he or she be able to spend time with family and friends or for recreation?

A decently working economy would have jobs available for its members that pay wages that allow them to bear the cost of living in such an economy. Basically, there needs to be a parallel correlation.

Which begs the question: As a Cabinet member of an administration focused on developing Malaysia into a high income nation, does the Deputy Minister’s suggestion about #2Kerja imply the government is nowhere near achieving that objective?

[This article originally appeared at English.AstroAwani.Com]

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