Freelancing is a job phenomenon that forms and grows Malaysia’s gig economy. The term ‘gig economy’ is nothing new but it has recently gained a lot of attention because it has become a big contributor to Malaysia’s national economy.
About 26% of the Malaysian workforce are freelancers and this percentage is set to rise according to the World Bank.
More and more Malaysians are pivoting towards this lifestyle because of the flexibility or freedom to work, from the ‘what’ to the ‘where’ and to the ‘when’.
‘What’ – choose your preferred expertise. Freelancing is getting to choose what jobs to take on and who you get to work with. It’s like being your own boss.
‘Where’ – work wherever you are, wherever you like. At home, cafes, library, or anywhere as long as you’re focused and productive at that place.
‘When’ – complete your job at any time of the day (or night!). Some people work efficiently in the day, some in the wee hours. Have your own freedom in choosing when to complete your gigs and work at your own pace.
Freelancers who earn a substantial amount are also subject to pay income taxes in Malaysia. However, their welfare is not protected under existing labour laws.
Unlike full-time employees who receive benefits in the form of EPF, SOCSO, pensions, insurance coverage, etc., full-time freelancers face the lack of security in terms of finance and healthcare.
Hence, there’s an increasing need for the government to regulate the gig economy so that giggers can find the balance between flexibility and security.