Dr M: No need to increase retirement age, don’t compare with me

Mahathir claims he was ‘called’ to lead the country. Source (pic): TTF Files

There is no need to increase the current retirement age in Malaysia from 60 to 65, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said here, today.

“When I was prime minister (for the first time), the government increased the retirement age from 55 to 56. Then, it was again increased to 60 by the government after me.

“I think putting 60 as the retirement age is enough. Don’t compare it with me… I have already retired, but was ‘called’ to return to work,” he said.

Dr Mahathir’s comments echoed that of Youth and Sports Minister, Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman, who said that raising the retirement age would prevent youth from filling up job vacancies.


PHNOM PENH: There is no need to increase the current retirement age in Malaysia from 60 to 65, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said here, today.

He said that a majority of individuals in their sixties are no longer able to work efficiently, and may also be struggling with health problems.

“When I was prime minister (for the first time), the government increased the retirement age from 55 to 56. Then, it was again increased to 60 by the government after me.


“I think putting 60 as the retirement age is enough. Don’t compare it with me… I have already retired, but was ‘called’ to return to work,” he said.

Dr Mahathir said this at a press conference here on Monday in response to a proposal by the Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) to raise the retirement age.

The Prime Minister, who is on a three-day official visit to Cambodia, is scheduled to leave for Vladivostok, Russia, today to attend the Eastern Economic Forum.

The MTUC had also urged the government to introduce the cost of living allowance (Cola) of RM500 or more for private sector employees in the 2020 Budget.

Human Resources Minister M. Kulasegaran said the ministry will discuss the matter with the Finance Ministry before making a decision.

Dr Mahathir’s comments echoed that of Youth and Sports Minister, Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman, who said that raising the retirement age would prevent youth from filling up job vacancies.

“If we set the retirement age at 65, the later they retire, the harder it is for other people (who are younger, more skilled and qualified) to fill the spot,” he added.

On a separate matter, Dr Mahathir said that Malaysian entrepreneurs must be bolder in exploring business and investment opportunities on a global scale, to strengthen the local economy.

He said local entrepreneurs should leverage on lucrative overseas businesses and investment opportunities, and that the government has provided many facilities to assist them in doing so.

“The double taxation avoidance agreement that was signed by Asean member countries facilitates business and investment activities for our entrepreneurs.

“It also helps reduce costs that had to be borne by our trade community each time they wanted to do business or invest, including in Cambodia.

“So we hope more of our entrepreneurs would seek opportunities abroad, particularly in Asean countries,” he added.

Dr Mahathir also said he is satisfied with Malaysia’s trade performance in Cambodia, with over 400 companies operating in the country in the banking, telecommunications, engineering, hotel and food industries.

He added that Cambodia has a lot of potential for entrepreneurs to enhance business operations and investments, citing the supply of clean and treated water in the country as an example.

“They have large rivers, but do not have the expertise and experience to process treated water.

“This is a good opportunity for Malaysian companies with expertise in this field to expand their operations in Cambodia,” he added.

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