Prioritise local workers, employers told

The govt is constantly striving to ensure that citizens’ rights are not denied


THE Human Resources (HR) Ministry is urging employers to prioritise local workers over foreigners when hiring, as per the government’s policy.

“The government is constantly striving to ensure that citizens’ rights are not denied especially in sectors where foreign workers are allowed to be employed,” the ministry said in a statement yesterday.

This comes after the Home Affairs Ministry clarified on Wednesday that Nepalis are the only foreigners allowed to work as guards for registered security companies in the country, following news reports that Malaysia is turning to Pakistan for such manpower.

Last week, Pakistan’s High Commissioner to Malaysia Amna Baloch (picture) announced that her country was negotiating with Malaysia to provide up to 150,000 low-skilled workers as security guards.

She indicated that the 2005 Malaysia-Pakistan memorandum of understanding under which some 10,000 to 15,000 Pakistani workers are sent to Malaysia annually would be revised to boost the employment of Pakistanis in Malaysia.

“Only positions that are not filled by locals in approved sectors are allowed to be made available to foreign workers, especially less-skilled ones, including foreign security guards,” the ministry said.

The employment of foreign workers in Malaysia usually involves the HR Ministry and Home Affairs Ministry. The latter is responsible for immigration and security matters including the employment of security guards in the country.

Meanwhile, the HR Ministry is responsible for employment and labour matters, which ensures that employers who bring in foreign workers comply with similar labour laws and regulations as with local workers.

“We urge employers and security companies to offer attractive salary packages beyond the required provisions under labour laws and provide extra incentives so that workers remain in the job for a longer period of time,” the ministry said.

The incentives, it said, include transportation, accommodation, sufficient uniforms, food, loans in the form of finance and equipment, annual bonuses, appropriate holiday packages and career enhancement opportunities.

The ministry welcomed former police and military personnel associations to encourage their members who are in good health to work as security guards.

The ministry is also ready to find jobs for those registered with Jobs Malaysia.