“We cannot be proud of those involved in selling nasi lemak or becoming Uber drivers. This is for them to sustain their income as they have no income sources,” Mahathir insulting nasi lemak seller and uber driver.

In what is becoming a regular event, Mahathir posted another Facebook Live “Policy Talk” session yesterday where he blamed failed government policies for causing graduates to turn to becoming nasi lemak sellers or drivers for ride-sharing services.

“This is something that shames the country when graduates sell nasi lemak. This shows the government’s failure to match training and mastery of knowledge with job opportunities,” he claimed.

According to a political analyst, Mahathir predictably blamed the reduction in funding to public universities in the previous budget allocation that “brought about a mismatch between the knowledge acquired by our youth and the requirements of the job market”.

The analyst instead set out to show how Mahathir’s thinking is outdated and simply unsustainable in the new economic model today.

“Today, there rings a general consensus among academicians that every member of a community – be it the Uber community, the nasi lemak community, the industrial community or even the village community – plays a pivotal role in the development of society and cannot be ignored by the research community.

“Yes, no longer is the Uber driver “just an Uber driver” or the nasi lemak seller someone you keep a ten foot pole distance from. Today, even the cattle farmer is an asset to research as he may possess insights into his field that you may want to tap into. Now, you don’t need RM10 million or even RM1 million to do that, do you? All you need is to get into his farm and share resources in ways that are mutually beneficial,” the writer Raggy Jessy wrote in The Third Force.

Chief among the new initiatives that are revolutionising our tertiary institutes is the Knowledge Transfer Programs (KTP) under the National Strategic Higher Learning Plan (PSPTN), which are “designed to promote self-sustaining attitudes all round, these programs have the potential of generating valuable research data as knowledge is commuted back and forth between researchers and communities”, the writer added.

“Unless Mahathir intends to see more people unemployed by 2020, he needs to appreciate efforts by our government to foster self-sustaining attitudes among members of our communities,” the analyst points out.

“A large number of these communities may suffer in the next ten years or so as the majority of jobs we have today gradually fade into distant memories.

“If we do not foster symbiotic relationships with communities, we could end up with a huge problem on our hands as our youths refuse to participate in activity they were not trained to perform,” he concluded by highlighting that the problem is not unique to Malaysia.

“On the contrary, the global unemployment rate among youths rose from a pre-crisis 11.7 percent in 2007 to a historic 13.2 percent in 2013. Today, the rate is three times that of adults and over two fold the overall global rate.

“To say that the administration of Dato’ Seri Najib Tun Razak is responsible for all this is insane and reflects just how desperate Mahathir is to get our youth to vote Pakatan Harapan into power.”

– mD

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