Culture insists that the eldest male in the family is the valued head of the household and as such must be obeyed (Carahar, 2000); he has important roles and responsibilities of provision for the family in terms of accommodation, protection, decision making, education, love and sustenance. A woman’s role as mother is to manage all matters pertaining to the house, take head place when father is not at home and take responsibility for the care of children; if she works outside the home many of her duties are divided among other family members; in fact the more hours she spends in employment the less she is required to work in the house and the more assistance she gets, mostly in terms of child care and cooking (Norzareen & Nobaya, 2010).
The family roles in terms of gender however, are changing with the growing need for women to join the workforce; many Malaysian parents now share responsibilities as breadwinners and keepers of the house. Each supports the other manually, emotionally and socially in order to maintain a secure family unit in today’s Malaysian society (Norzareen & Nobaya, 2010).
The workforce in Malaysia is young, well educated and easily trained within the workplace; in fact around 70% are below the age of 35; its increasing economy has created a need for skilled labor that is at most times in short supply and expected to increase because of the transfer to more modern technology and high end products. The unskilled labor shortage is being filled with the importation of migrant workers from neighboring countries (Country Commerce, 2006); in fact the majority come from Indonesia with other large cohorts entering from Thailand, the Philippines, Cambodia, Pakistan, Vietnam, India , Nepal and Bangladesh (Robertson, 2008).
The government has strong control over the private sector and has played a key