Malaysia is second only to Singapore, the country in
Southeast Asia where wealth is highest. Visit AbbreviationFinder to see the definitions of MYS and acronym for Malaysia. At the end of the
1990s, almost 4 percent of the residents were poor. But
wealth is unevenly distributed. By tradition, Chinese and
Indians have had assets, opportunities and influence, while
the original, indigenous population, bumiputra, which made
up the majority, has been underprivileged. In all
development plans since 1970, the aim has been to reduce
ethnic, socio-economic and regional differences and bring
bumiputra through quotas to, among other things, education
and government services. But differences remain and the
bumiputra policy is also controversial.
Of the workforce, 12 percent are union members (2010).
Strict right exists but with limitations. Unemployment
insurance is missing and only one severance pay is paid in
the case of closure. Unemployment has been low for decades
(just over 4 per cent in 2009) and the shortage of manpower
has led to the move of several million guest workers, mainly
from Indonesia. Most of them are low-skilled and work on oil
palm plantations or in factories. For them, social insurance
does not apply and, in practice, does not apply to 48 hours
work week and minimum wage.
For Malaysian citizens, there are different social
insurance systems. The oldest is the one that provides
compensation for work injuries and disability. For some
years now, compensatory insurance has been provided for
foreign workers. The retirement age is 58 years for
government employees and 55 years for other employees. The
general pension fund refers to private employees and is
based on monthly payments from workers and employers.
Membership is mandatory for all low-income employees and
voluntary for others. Since 2010, there is also an insurance
system for farmers and other self-employed persons. The more
than half a million civil servants receive their monthly
pensions paid by the state.
Healthcare in Malaysia is considered to be of a high
international class, comparable to countries in Western
Europe, and both state and private healthcare are well
spread across the country. In 2006, there were 1.9 beds per
1,000 residents. Especially private hospitals in large
cities are modernly equipped and more and more patients from
richer countries are looking for specialist care at low
cost. The proportion of HIV-infected persons aged 15-49 was
0.5 percent in 2007.
In terms of clean water and sanitation, the supply is as
good as in Western Europe. Everyone has access to clean
water and for 95 percent of the population there are
well-developed sanitation facilities, even in rural areas.