IT seems that Malaysian employers and employees are unprepared to face the changes that occur in the market.
This is evident from the fact that every time the government tries to implement a new law, employers and employees ask for extensions, exemptions or exclusions.
Presently, it is the turn of the minimum wage law governing the employment of foreign maids and the raising of the retirement age from 55 to 60.
Some employers say this will be a burden because they will be forced to retain under-performing employees for a longer period.
If you have had a person working for you for 10 to 30 years and you have not been able to make that person a better employee, then you deserve all the deadwood you get.
If your only reason for getting up in the morning and going to work is to get your cheque at the end of the month, then these employees cannot learn much and contribute to their companies.
Good employees love their job, and the reason they love their job is because they perceive their bosses as being fair, and the reason their bosses are fair is because they keep their promises, including paying the employees a fair salary and paying on time.
Under the circumstances, how are employers going to help the government achieve its target of making Malaysia a high-income nation when their tendency is to pay less, or occasionally, not at all?
Employees too, should look at themselves. If they have reached the age of 60 and are still desperate for money, then they are failures.
I can understand people who say that they want to continue working after the retirement age because they do not like to sit idle at home, or they feel that they have experiences from which others will benefit.
I can even sympathise with those who admit that they need to continue working to pay for the joys of life, such as books, eating out, holidays and cable TV.
But to say that they cannot retire because they need money to survive is unforgivable.
Also, employers, including the government, should stop the practice of paying their employees according to qualifications.
Naturally, it is better for people to have degrees, but degrees are not the only means by which they can do their jobs better.
Salaries are paid to people for doing the job and not because they have degrees.
The practice of paying according to academic qualifications has been frustrating for two categories of essential workers: maids and teachers.
Older teachers who have been serving a number of years and cannot be promoted or get a pay increase because they don't have a degree must be irate.
If teachers have been there for 10 years without a degree, are they suddenly going to take orders from 22-year-old graduates?
Equally so, a maid may be serving a company director, who has a master's degree but can't do housework. What right does this woman have to give her maid a wage that doesn't even pay for the room she sleeps in?
Marisa Demori, Kuala Lumpur