PETALING JAYA, Feb 28 — Human Resources Minister M. Kulasegaran today reiterated the government’s commitment to ensuring Malaysians are the first priority in efforts to address the nation’s critical skills gap.

“The government is committed to safeguarding the interests of the Malaysian workforce while balancing the need for expatriate talent, especially those with the expertise needed by the priority sectors spearheading Malaysia’s economic growth,” he said at the opening of the new Malaysia Expatriate Talent Service Centre (MYXpats Centre) today.

He added that the centre and Talent Corporation Malaysia Berhad (TalentCorp) will work closely with the Home Ministry, Immigration Department and the industry to ensure that every angle is considered before an expatriate’s application to work in Malaysia is approved.

Deputy Home Minister Datuk Mohd Azis Jamman said expatriates complement and fill the gaps within the workforce. 

“Through investments and knowledge transfer, expatriates help increase sectoral standards, attract foreign direct investment, and ensure a diverse and inclusive spirit in our thriving marketplace,” he added.

They both highlighted that the government was committed to creating a robust talent ecosystem that will attract and enable top international investors to grow thriving businesses in Malaysia, which in turn will create jobs for local talent and promote skills transfer.

To facilitate investment from global companies to Malaysia, the government will start using a single platform for expatriate applications from April 1 to streamline the delivery of immigration services and security.

Online payment for the Immigration Pass Fee will also be made available through the Expatriate Services Division’s online system by May.

The government would also open two MYXpats Centre branches in Penang and Johor by 2020 to support the growth of foreign investments in Malaysia.

MYXpats Centre is a joint initiative with the Immigration Department and is overseen by the Home Ministry.

The Centre serves as a one-stop service centre that processes and issues employment passes and other immigration-related passes for eligible expatriates to work in Malaysia.