The Education Ministry says it is up to industries offering jobs to study the decline of the starting salaries of fresh graduates.
“With regards to the drop in salary, you will have to ask the industries because they are the ones providing employment,” minister Maszlee Malik said after launching the 2019 Kuala Lumpur International Book Festival at the Putra World Trade Centre today.
“We do not handle salaries, but what we can do is prepare highly-skilled graduates who are more trained, knowledgeable and competitive for the local and international job markets."
Last Thursday, Mazlee in a statement said that the ministry would cooperate with various parties and agencies to look into ways to solve the issue.
He said he had taken note of Bank Negara's 2018 Annual Report released recently, as well as media reports on graduates' declining salaries.
The central bank's report said that real starting salaries for most fresh graduates in the country had been declining since 2010 after taking into account inflation.
The real monthly salaries for fresh graduates holding a diploma was RM1,376 in 2018, compared to RM1,458 in 2010.
The real monthly salaries for degree holders was RM1,983 in 2018, compared to RM1,993 in 2010, while that for Master’s degree holders was RM2,707 in 2018 compared to RM2,923 in 2010.
In another development, Maszlee in his speech said that the international book fair had introduced a specific section, which is a booth for World Book Capital, and which has the potential to attract the community to make Kuala Lumpur the world’s main knowledge hub.
“It is a recognition accorded by Unesco to the city which shows the highest commitment in organising book activities, promotions and readings.
The 2019 international book fair, being held from March 29 to April 7, will promote the reduction of plastic bag consumption, as well as cashless transactions for book purchases.
The 38th edition of the international book fair is organised by the Malaysian National Book Council, together with six Malaysian book publishing associations.
The 10-day mega event also targets to attract 1.5 million visitors to its 700 booths, involving more than 200 local and international publishers, including from Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Brunei and Singapore.