Registered foreign workers assured of vaccination

Saravanan says the govt has agreed that all foreign workers across the board be vaccinated


ALL foreign workers who are registered and possess legal documents to work in Malaysia will eventually be administered with a Covid-19 vaccine to ensure the nation’s safety.

Human Resources (MoHR) Minister Datuk Seri M Saravanan said it would still be a challenge, especially when there are foreign workers who are without any document that could qualify them to register for vaccination.

“The government has agreed that all foreign workers across the board be vaccinated because we have agreed that no one is safe until everyone is safe.

“However, there is a problem in reaching out to those without legal documents, and it would then defeat the purpose and the saying,” he said at the Trade Union Development Grant (GPKS) 2021 presentation in Selangor yesterday.

He added that there will be a meeting held with the Ministry of Home Affairs to discuss further on how it will be handled.

“We will then finalise the mechanism which will be used for those not in the registry or possessing any documents,” he said.

According to a report by The Malaysian Reserve, the logistical limitations faced by foreign workers have caused employers to miss the March 31 deadline for all workers to be screened.

The Malaysian Employers’ Federation stated that it would be better to focus on the future of vaccination rather than placing the focus on screening of foreign workers, as well as for the government to not implement the non-renewal of the workers’ passes.

As for the issue of low salary — RM1,000 to RM1,500 — that is offered to fresh graduates, Saravanan said the economic downturn, which was heavily affected by the pandemic, is among the factors that caused the salary fall.

He said the government has never changed the minimum salary of RM1,200. However, there are employers who are still offering jobs to the unemployed albeit with lower benefits and offerings.

“I suggest that we accept the offered salary instead of being unemployed,” he said.

He added that currently, the issue should be negotiated or discussed between employers and employees.

The Department of Statistics Malaysia recently reported that the majority of graduates entering the job market last year received a monthly salary between RM1,001 to RM1,500, compared to the average of RM2,001 to RM2,500 recorded in 2019.

The MoHR yesterday handed out a total of RM314,500 worth of grants to trade unions within the central region of the country, after having approved 128 out of 210 applications received from trade unions nationwide for the GPKS 2021.

The GPKS is a financial assistance provided for trade unions registered with the Trade Union Affairs Department (JHEKS), comprising four categories: Training, computer, website development and publication grants.

Saravanan said the ministry via JHEKS received 210 applications for the GPKS nationwide, with a total application worth RM6.7 million.

“However, with current allocation limitations, JHEKS has approved a total of 128 applications for now that fulfilled all requirements involving a total allocation of RM1 million,” he said.

Read our previous report here

Some 150,000 foreign workers yet to be tested