Malaysian government does not want foreign workers

April 16th, 2008 - 2:53 pm ICT by admin  

Kuala Lumpur, April 16 (IANS) The Malaysian Government wants to do away with foreign workers as their numbers - both legal and illegal - have reached three million, Home Minister Syed Hamid Albar has said. He told media here Tuesday that the move would also ensure that there would be no unemployment among Malaysians.

He said cooperation from employers was most important as they created the demand for foreign workers. This had also caused illegal foreigners to enter the country in droves.

“We want to see the demand for foreigners totally scrapped, that is our aim. We need cooperation from those who are seeking workers,” The Star newspaper quoted him as saying Wednesday.

“We need a collective and planned effort from all quarters including the Human Resources Ministry to ensure that we depend only on our own citizens,” the home minister said, adding that illegal foreign workers were one of the biggest problems the ministry was facing.

One of the prosperous tiger economies, Malaysia has been depending upon foreign workers for all sorts of services - from domestic help to factory and farm workers and skilled IT hands from India, Bangladesh and its southeast Asian neighbours, Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand.

The Malaysian Employers Federation and the Malaysian Trades Union Congress said that the government must have a clear policy on migrant workers and not act on an ad hoc basis.

MEF executive director Shamsuddin Bardan said he was not against the move to scrap dependence on foreign workers but it must be planned properly.

“We don’t want to have a knee-jerk reaction and be caught off-guard. This could affect productivity,” he said.

“The cause of the high influx of illegals should not be confused with employers’ demand for documented workers. It’s partly because the government has been too lenient,” he said.

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