Saturday, March 17, 2012

Baru Bian: Score of no benefit to Sarawakians


The Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (Score) will not benefit Sarawakians if the state government continues to neglect the educational needs of locals.

Sarawak PKR chief Baru Bian in a statement pointed out that the corridor, which expected to create some 290,880 jobs by the end of 2015, needs skilled workers, something that is severely lacking in the state.

Citing statistics from the state's department of labour, Baru said the only 17% or 166,175 people have had post secondary education, with Bidayuh and Orang Ulu recording the least, at 7.19 percent and 4.38 percent respectively.

NONE"(State welfare, women and family development minister) Fatimah Abdullah said we have only 25% highly skilled workers to date.
"Based on the statistics, clearly, our people, especially the indigenous, are in no position to take on the jobs that are purportedly going to be created by Score.
"The government is actually looking at importing foreign labour to fill these vacancies. If this is the scenario, how is Score going to benefit the people?" Baru Bian (right) asked.
The Ba Kalalan state assemblyman said the current plight facing the Sarawak labour is that a lot of them, who work either in or outside Sarawak, are poorly paid for long working hours.
'Not choosy but put off'

He attributed it to the run down education policies and lack of political will to raise wages.

He chided the state Labour Department's senior assistant director Ahmad Lamat for saying that state government is helpless in the matter and blaming the situation on workers for being choosy.

Baru claimed locals have shunned jobs in plantations and construction sites because they are owned or controlled by the BN politicians, families or cronies.

lundu iban blockade 310707 log barrier"They take the land from the locals for plantations, and then to add insult to injury, offer the lowest wages, which is around RM18 a day.

"This is grossly insufficient to sustain even one person, let alone a family.

"The point is that our people cannot even earn a living on the wages being offered here. Why should they just be content on earning a living? We should want them to thrive and prosper," Baru said.
He said the only way to solve the plight is to eradicate land grabbing, corruption and cronyism and to refocus on basics such as education and training, and the implementation of good governance policies.

"A Pakatan Rakyat government will work on the premise that the people are the boss and our job will be to implement policies that will improve the lives of the population," he pledged.

~ Malaysiakini

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