Number of unemployed graduates soars


While the uproar over the BTN continues, let’s look at what happens to some of our university students after they graduate.

The following was the answer received by Selayang MP William Leong in Parliament recently:

In 2004, there were 4,594 unemployed graduates of whom 163 were Chinese, 207 were Indians and 4,060 were Malays;

In 2005, there were 2,413 unemployed graduates of whom 31 were Chinese, 70 were Indians and 2,186 were Malays;

In 2006, there were 56,750 unemployed graduates of whom 1,110 were Chinese, 1,346 were Indians and 50,594 were Malays.

In 2007, there were 56,322 unemployed graduates of whom 1,348 were Chinese, 1,401 were Indians and 49,075 were Malays.

In 2008 (as of June) there were 47,910 unemployed graduates of whom 1,403 Chinese, 4,694 Indians and 41,813 were Malays.

This more or less tallied with the 47,733 active graduate registrants on the Malaysian Labour Exchange in June 2008.

By March 2009, Najib was talking about 60,000 unemployed graduates. This was more or less in line with the 57,701 graduate registrants on the Exchange in March 2009.

By October 2009, we were looking at 81,046 active graduate registrants on the Labour Exchange – and another 70,747 active registrants who are diploma holders.

Mind you, this is after the civil service absorbs thousands of graduates every year.

Clearly, we have a problem with unemployed graduates (and diploma and certificate holders).

Maybe we are producing graduates with skills that can’t be used/knowledge that cannot earn them a living or that are not up to employers’ expectations. Or maybe they are not taught how to be independent and self-sufficient and how to put their skills and knowledge to good use. Perhaps they are spoon-fed so much and closeted from the real world, they don’t have the ability to think analytically and critically. Or maybe they are not taught how to carry out independent research and inquiry and are more used to rote-learning.

Or all of the above.

Check out how much it costs to re-train these graduates here.

Meanwhile, those Umno/BN chaps are arguing over who is more racist (re: BTN) when there are so many unemployed graduates around, the majority of them Malay. What will happen to them?

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George Tan

Dear Sir / Madam Please consider circulating this opinion, the aim is to inform people , and hopefully enable them to carefully consider medical studies Recently the news has reported that malaysia currently has too many private medical colleges, too many young doctors.. Many new medical graduates now will have to wait many months , sometimes up to a year before they will get a contract housemanship job . Housemanship jobs will be given on contract for 3 years and then , subject to satisfactory completion of housemanship the young doctor , may get a 2 year contract to do… Read more »

Anil Netto

New blog post: Unemployed graduates in Malaysia

William Lau

Unemployed graduates in Malaysia –


The reason why the Chinese do far better economically, not just in Malaysia but anywhere in the world where there are Chinese, is because the Chinese is known to be a very hard working, resilient, and self-supporting race. They do not rely on hand outs or clutches to survive and to improve themselves and for their families. You can see this in action in countries like China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore where the Chinese are the majority. Given a chance they will outshine economically everywhere. This itself will benefit all other races living in that country. You can see this… Read more »


To the commentar done by nkkhoo on 15 Dec 2009 I am very disapointed with your comment on that particular subject. In your comment, you did mention that local trained Malay graduates and MARA students were called as ” just a bunch of spoilt kids”. Please keep in your mind that such statement is very sensitive and touch the Malay race. Your comments does not giving any motivation even suggestions on how to improve it. In my point of view, such statement is coming from a mind of non-educated person that just want to comment but dont know how to… Read more »


People may call MARA graduates spoilt kids or unmarketable but there are just based on assumption and generalisation or probably ..hatred?. MARA produced thousand of graduates yearly compare to other Universities so not all will get a good placement in Companies. Many companies besides having some bias on MARA graduate are also owned by certain races that prefered to nurture their own, hence creating disadvantages on Bumiputera part. Citing MARA students unable to speak English well are quite shallow and based on selected individual judgement only. MARA students are able to speak english well in fact better then non MARA… Read more »

Charles F. Moreira

Could it be that we are producing too many graduates than there are suitable jobs available for? I graduated in 1979 with a UK degree in electronics and upon return to Malaysia, I landed a job as a process engineer in National Semiconductor within three months and such this as “retraining” were unheard of back then, whether one was a local or overseas graduate. Perhaps Malaysia needs to revert back to increasing its vocational training facilities where people who are not all that academically inclined can acquire practical skills and work as technicians, craftsmen and so on. Unfortunately, vocational training… Read more »


If “ken” is complaining about the standard of English in this country, the situation must be really serious. Critical.

sorry about this Anil … you can choose to delete this post ..;)


first, i would like to clarify here i am no discriminate any races, i based on my 10 years experiences for sharing. I found some graduate has big problem in English and knowledges regardless of races, but more obvious in Malay, unadmitedly some Malay graduate is very smart but the number not a lot. I think probably the quota dragged down their standard, so some time i felt is it very important to show off the number instead of quality? I not very influence in English but at least can speak understandable English and read email, but i knew some… Read more »

cheap labour

not forgetten, so many cases i’ve heard from my friends where the chinese are being paid well for the same position compares to others. secondly it’s difficult for non-chinese to sit/move on to top position unless it’s for ‘political’ reason. In the paper recruitment, we can see most of the employers demands for experience, education and some related kind of personalities. but does it really cares? coz i also heard young chinese guy/girl will be suddenly leading a group without having any experience and knowledge but will slowly learn through a very good internal political way to achieve big position….… Read more »


Malaysians are becoming “tidak apa” attitude. Most young graduates are lazy, take things lightly and irresponsible. While those with diploma and working as clerk are much more better than them in term of attitude. The professionals are now not professional at all. So, may employers go after computerised system and high tech processing. Less jobs have caused serious competition and salary level has never increase for the last 20 years while the inflation rate is constantly rise at 2-5% a year. In 1990, fresh graduate got a start pay at RM1500. In 2009, the fresh graduate still getting a start… Read more »


Anil Thanks for this enlightening article, albeit many kind of aware to some degree. The comments here are valid, especially the part about (some of these workers) cannot be scolded and their habit of going on MC and MIA way to often, are absolutely true. Also based on my experience it is frustrating working for bosses who are not competent, just as it is sad working for those who are racist (in this respect non-malays cannot be exempted!.) But with this lot, we have to stomach their shortcomings and their very cool attitude, and not complain! Every now and then… Read more »


Dear Anilnetto

The problem lies with population control, i mean lack of. It’s an awful topic to discuss but this is a fact – Msians shld have just one or two kids. It’s not abt human right as many would put it, that ppl shld hv a football team since it’s their right, rather it’s a solemn duty and awesome responsibility to bring up children and make sure they are well-educated & able to fend for themselves. Quality over quantity. People here must be practical & realistic. This is a fact of life.

sang kancil

It will get worse.

darryl khoo

Please don’t laugh so much bout the bloated civil sector. If PR were to win the next election and form the next government, wonder what r they going to do with the excess employees and r they going to absorb the next round of graduates entering the job market?

This would be an interesting topic to discuss. Anyway, right now, Malaysia is full of universities that u have never heard before. Wonder where we get so many lecturers…

Gerakan K

PR able to win next GE? Dream on.


Without dreams the excesses of the BN will continue…
With dreams it will shattered the corruptible activities and excesses of these UMNO – BN and their lapdogs like Gerakan, MCA, PPP & MIC wipe off once and for all. Who need Gerakan K any more….. he can shout his hell out…..


They churning out lecturers of no quality to teach our children. They are churning out Profs Assoc Profs and Drs who cannot perform. Titles they have do not reflect their ability. Education has become a show. The quality is not there. Theses are plagiarised, research papers are plagiarised and cut-and-paste, theses and papers are outsourced, lecturers are busy showing the same piece at dubious exhibitions, Lecturers cannot even speak English (the medium used)properly to teach students, it goes on and on…


My friend was just an assistance professor in HK three years ago already published 60 over papers in the renowned journals. Anyway he is a local graduate, got his master in NUS and PhD in NTU Singapore.

How many full professors in the Bolehland ever published more than 10 papers in the world-class journals? Believe me, the number is less than your fingers.

telur dua

From a former PM to current Ministers and their deputies, the reasons they give to justify BTN is laughable.

Anyone who buy their story must be morons or………..cronies.

cheap labour

the numbers published cannot just be read as it is. i mean > 1) it doesn’t reflect actual proportion of race. 2) how come chinese being the larger group than indian having less unemployement number than indian. 3)malays make-up +/-90% from total unemployment when all the country education resources are mostly channelled to them(mara loan, jpa and so on..). minimum 30% bumi quota employment are still being practice.

telur dua

Another entry into the Malaysian Book of Records i.e. mass production of unemployed/unemployable graduates.

peter teoh

Soon doctors are going to join the ranks of the unemployed. New medical schools are ferociously being opened, usually for monetary gain. It is estimated that we will have a surplus of 3,500 doctors by 2014. Over 5,000 or more doctors will be graduating then , from the 25 or so , local medical schools plus the hundreds more from colleges in Indonesia,India,Pakistan, Egypt, Russia….. There are plans for even more medical schools. It was reported in today’s newspapers that a new medical school is being built in Perak, at a cost of $ 800 million, and will have some… Read more »

Jimmy Choo

While this posting doesn’t have much to do with the discussion generated by anil’s posting (my apologies), I just wanted to remind Peter Teoh about the work nursing staff contributed during a patient’s journey as an in-patient. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with nurses with MDs (although personally I haven’t come across any). Nurses are part of the mutildisciplinary team that provide care to you and me when one is admitted to a hospital. and the role of nurses and medics are quite different but essential to the care of the patients.

Staff nurse


nevermind my friend… their days are numbered… soon they will call us ‘Tuan’ to get a job


keep your cool. Not nice to be racist. People with high esteem respectful of others. Hope your understand 🙂 cheers


you better publish my comment.. this is free expression of speech freedom .. if you not publish my comments…. there’s no difference between you and the Utusan hypocrites


Retraining graduates is throwing good money after bad.
These people are not capable enough to be passed in the first place. Giving them a piece of paper, changes their mindsets that they are not suitable for low level jobs. They will not lower their status to tale more menial jobs. They are too spoilt. They become a burden to society.

Imagine, we have a 60K good factory workers now non-employable because of the curse of a piece of paper.


In my opinion, those Malay overseas graduates did work with MNCs in Penang are quite capable to be CEO for any local companies. They have to work like … as others when they were engineers.

I have to say sorry for MARA and local-trained Malay graduates. They are just a bunch of spoilt kids.


you guys are RACIST


Just look at the standard of our lecturers at the local universities. Sorry to say, they are mostly of ‘kangkong’ quality. Again, sorry to brand them this way. I went through the education process locally and I never had much confidence in their ability. They hold titles such as Prof Assoc Prof Dr and some with Dato’ added, but they are not even able to teach in proper English. They speak very bad English. Content-wise they know too little – recycling the same stuff throughout. Most of their academic papers are recycled stuff. How do we expect our students to… Read more »

Angela Ooi

The BN/dUMNO govt has without doubt, successfully planted the seige mentality and spoonfeeding of the majority race to keep them docile, spineless … so they remain UNEMPLOYABLE unless obsorbed into the already bloasted, inefficient civil service!