Only employers can decide on working from home

Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF) says it is the employers who will decide if workers can return to a “normal” working life.

Responding to a study by Skillsoft – a digital learning, training and talent solutions provider – MEF executive director Datuk Shamsuddin Bardan said: “Employees cannot dictate how they want to perform their work.”

The study, which had a sample number of 758 workers nationwide, showed nine out of 10 Malaysians are against a return to pre-Covid19 working conditions.

Shamsuddin took issue with the sample number, saying it was “too small”.

“They (Softskill) should do a larger study or survey and get a wider field of workers,” he said.

“Although these workers feel they don’t want to go back to ‘normal’ working conditions, ultimately, it is the employers who decide.

“There are some businesses that need the human touch – sales or shop assistants or those in restaurants. This is especially so for those in the manufacturing line.”

Having said that, Shamsuddin applauded some business owners who have innovated during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“In the car industry, for example, some companies have launched virtual sales. This requires employees to learn new skills and upscale. Can they adapt?”

Shamsuddin said among the feedback MEF has received from members is that some employees are not comfortable working from home.

MEF comprises 6,000 companies as members and 25 associate members. Together, they employ three million people.

“While it may seem easier working from home – you don’t have to go through the traffic, you can get up later in the morning and so on – but people working from home also have other issues,” said Shamsuddin.

“They may feel they are not required by their employer or company anymore while some are worried they may lose their jobs. This can affect a worker’s mental health.”

Other common issues concerning working from home include lack of motivation, poor Internet connection, uncomfortable work area and distractions.

Here’s the round-up of The News Normal today.


Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) secretary-general J. Solomon says the body supports a call by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin that the monthly aid from the Social Welfare Department’s be increased to RM1,000.

“While B40 workers can be assisted with this special aid monthly until the Covid-19 pandemic is under control and a vaccine is found, all Socso pensioners should be entitled to this aid permanently,” he said in a statement.

He added MTUC hopes it will not be another long-drawn study before its implementation as the people are suffering.


Dr Chan Yoke Fun, Head of the Department of Medical Microbiology at Universiti Malaya’s Faculty of Medicine, has won the Asean-US Science Prize for Women 2020.

Dr Chan has been developing a vaccine to combat a virus that causes hand, foot and mouth disease, and brain infection diseases in children.


Former national goalkeeper Syed Adney Syed Hussein says the FA of Malaysia erred in not turning the state FAs into FCs 20 years ago.

“It’s been a few good years given to privatise the teams. Ultimatums were given but most teams didn’t comply.

“I’m not sure if the football administrators are ready. Some teams are ready, some aren’t.”


Cycling hero Azizulhasni Awang was crowned Sportswriters Association of Malaysia (SAM)-100PLUS Awards 2019 Athlete of the Year.

He defeated shuttler S. Kisona, the women’s singles gold medallist at last year’s Philippines SEA Games, gymnastics queen Farah Ann Abdul Hadi, wushu exponent Loh Choon How and figure skater Julian Yee.

Bonnie Bunyau Gustin, meanwhile, was named the SAM-100PLUS Para-Athlete of the Year at the ceremony held at Akademi Badminton Malaysia in Bukit Kiara.

Astro Arena’s Wan Norbazly Nor Azmi and Azri Abd Malik received the Siebel Award for their report on diving titled ‘The Curse of the Belly Flop’. The duo picked up RM7,000 and a trophy. Norbazly and Azri were earlier named winners of the Best Special Report (Open) category.

The other winners were:
Best News Report (Print): Aida Adilah Mat (Harian Metro)
Best News Report (Electronic): Shah Putra Taib Ahmad-Ahmad Ezwan Mohd (RTM)
Best Commentary (Print): Mohd Firdaus Mohd Hashim (Harian Metro)
Best Commentary (Electronic): Mohd Zulhelmi Zainal Azam-Syafiq Syafian (Astro Arena)
Best Photography: Mohd Khairol Rizal Buhari (CSNSportsTalk)