by FAYYADH JAAFAR / pic by MUHD AMIN NAHARUL
THE Ministry of Human Resources (MoHR) has received 111,807 applications for foreign workers from Feb 15 to 20.
According to its Minister Datuk Seri M Saravanan, this overwhelming number of applications had caused difficulties to some employers applying online, as applications for foreign workers were suspended from March 2020, following the implementation of the first Movement Control Order.
He said of the total, 77,848 applications were for workers in the manufacturing sector, followed by plantations (13,119), services (10,611), construction (8,530) and agriculture (1,699).
The minister had previously announced that the online application needed to be filled in by the employers themselves, except for the application for foreign maids.
However, during a meeting with employers and trade groups recently, it was revealed that some employers hired private employment agencies to help them fill out the application forms.
“Private employment agencies may make an application on behalf of the employer, provided that the application is submitted with the knowledge and permission of the employer,” he said in a statement yesterday.
He added that the ministry will continue to monitor the online application situation closely and take appropriate action if necessary.
On Dec 3, 2021, Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF) director Datuk Shamsuddin Bardan said many companies had been in dire need of foreign workers, and Malaysia has been experiencing a long-standing issue of labour shortages, whether in the plantation industry or other sectors that are reliant on manual labour.
MEF president Datuk Dr Syed Hussain Syed Husman said despite more than 690,000 locals being out of job, employers in the plantation, construction and manufacturing sectors still face extreme difficulties in finding the required manpower, hence there is still dependency on foreign labour.
Meanwhile, Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry president Datuk Ng Yih Pyng was reported as saying that the situation was made worse by the practice of foreign worker “pinching” by companies offering higher pay.
He said many members had their existing foreign workers lured away with salaries that pay more than RM100 a day.