Private firms favour Chinese grads: Study

Two Malaysian academics conduct unprecedented study on recruitment

Jobseekers at a career fair. The study said Malay fresh graduates were 17 per cent less likely to be called for interviews. -- PHOTO: THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

KUALA LUMPUR - A first-of-its kind study by two Malaysian academics suggests that Malays, while favoured through racial quotas and policies in the country, face discrimination in the private-sector job market.

The researchers devised an experiment where they sent out more than 3,000 fictitious resumes of Chinese and Malay fresh university graduates, in reply to 750 real job advertisements from private engineering and accounting firms.

They found that Chinese applicants got about five times more calls from employers for interviews, compared to Malay applicants with similar qualifications.

They calculated that, for the same resume, a Malay applicant is about 17 per cent less likely to be called for an interview, compared to a Chinese applicant. The bias is more pronounced in engineering jobs (21.5 per cent) than in accounting jobs (11 per cent).