Malaysia to continue with fewer foreign workers policy

March 20th, 2008 - 12:28 pm ICT by admin  

Kuala Lumpur, March 20 (IANS) Malaysia will continue with the policy of reducing the number of foreign workers, new Home Minister Syed Hamid Albar has said. Till recently Albar was the foreign minister.

Malaysia draws thousands of foreign workers from South Asia and the neighbouring Southeast Asian nations.

A part of the skilled force and IT people are from India. An estimated 130,000 workers are from Bangladesh. Housemaids from Indonesia and the Philippines are common.

Albar said a cabinet decision was taken to reduce the country’s dependence on foreign workers.

“Thus, it will continue. We can’t have foreign workers numbering some 10 percent of our population.

“There will be some reduction but this will take place over time. This is necessary in order for local industries to move from one which is labour intensive to that of high technology,” he said.

Home ministry secretary-general Azahar Raja Abdul Manap had announced that the government was planning a drastic reduction in the number of foreign workers, with at least 200,000 likely to be sent home by next year.

The Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF) indicated that any reduction should not affect productivity levels, The Star newspaper said.

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