Govt told to look into simplifying foreign workers recruitment

Otherwise, this labour shortage issues can hamper Malaysia’s economic recovery, Muhyiddin says


THE government should simplify the recruitment process of foreign workers intake to address the labour shortage issues that could hamper Malaysia’s economic recovery.

National Recovery Council chairman Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said this issue has been presented by various sectors of the economy such as the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and plantations to the council before.

He expressed disappointment that this matter has yet to be resolved.

“Labour is a need of many sectors including SMEs, plantations, as well as construction especially foreign labour, but to this day, this issue has not been resolved. There may be a need from relevant agencies to simplify the recruitment process despite the already simplified procedures,” Muhyiddin said after chairing a roundtable session with various industry players and academia yesterday.

According to the former prime minister, the information gathered in the roundtable session this time will be brought to the council to be discussed in more detail before coming out with a decision that can be recommended by the Cabinet.

“Matters touched on in this session covers the short-, medium- and long-term period to ensure the country’s recovery process can be implemented — so far it can be said that there is a good effect but there are still a variety of major issues and problems.

“For example, the rules and regulations that may be somewhat constraining for the government to make decisions quickly, as a result, there are certain sectors that are affected such as international and domestic investment, among others,” he said.

Other issues raised during the session, he said, were on food security. 

“It needs to be looked at in more depth on how the important agro-agricultural sectors can be improved in the future,” said Muhyiddin.

On subsidies, he said it is not a matter of reducing the subsidy only but it may need to be maintained for certain groups who are entitled to receive it.

“The burden of national subsidies is increasing every year, this year alone, it has increased to RM77 billion. If it continues to increase, it will burden the government and the government may not be able to afford this significantly increased subsidy, hence, there needs to be a way to revisit this matter,” the Pagoh MP said further.