3 major sectors allowed to hire foreign workers from 15 countries

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KUALA LUMPUR: The human resource and home ministries have agreed to allow foreign workers from 15 source countries to work in Malaysia’s manufacturing, construction and services industries.

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The decision was reached following a meeting between the two ministries to discuss the recruitment of foreign workers and the recent freeze on worker recruitment announced by the Indonesian government.

They also approved Construction Labour Exchange Centre Bhd’s (CLAB) proposal for the agency to fully manage the entry of foreign workers for the construction sector.

Home minister Hamzah Zainudin said certain ministries were appointed to manage the recruitment process of foreign workers in these industries namely, the transport ministry for the recruitment of low-skilled workers in the land warehouse subsector, and the ministry of agriculture and food industries for the bird’s nest industry.

“This is to ensure that this decision will not affect job opportunities for locals and to reduce dependency on foreign workers,” he said in a press conference at the Bukit Aman federal police headquarters here.

“To meet the needs of the industry, the meeting today also agreed to allow foreign workers to be employed in the scrap metal and laundry subsectors.”

Asked about the temporary freeze on the recruitment of Indonesian workers, Hamzah said both ministries would hold a meeting with the Indonesian government soon.

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“This is to iron out all misunderstandings (between Malaysia and Indonesia).”

On July 13, Indonesia imposed a temporary freeze on all Indonesian workers entering Malaysia.

Indonesian ambassador Hermono was reported to have said that this was done because of the Malaysian immigration department’s continued use of the Maid Online System (MOS) to facilitate the recruitment of domestic workers from Indonesia.

He said it was “a total breach” of the memorandum of understanding (MoU) on the placement and protection of Indonesian maids which was signed by Malaysia and Indonesia on April 1.

However, Hamzah said the problem should not have been revealed to the media first before being discussed by the two governments.- FMT