KUALA LUMPUR, March 20 — The government cannot adopt an overly open approach when it comes to hiring foreign workforce at present, said Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri M. Saravanan.

He said that the government and ministry’s focus currently was to provide job opportunities for Malaysians, especially when the country is still struggling with the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

He explained that since there was still a freeze on hiring foreign workforce and the country’s borders too were still closed, a detailed study on the hiring of foreign workers for several sectors needed to be carried out first.


“Regarding this issue (hiring of foreign workforce), we will hold a joint meeting with several relevant ministries, including the Home Ministry on March 29 and we will also ask the relevant agencies to prepare working papers for a detailed study.

“We can’t take an approach that is too open, detailed studies must be carried out first so as not to jeopardise (job opportunities for) Malaysians,” he said after taking part in an integrated enforcement operation in Bangsar last night.

Previously, Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Dr Mohd Khairuddin Aman Razali was reported to have said that talks would be held with the Home Ministry and Human Resources Ministry to hire foreign workforce following an urgent need in the plantation sector.


On the integrated operation, Saravanan said about 70 business premises were inspected to ensure compliance of regulations under the Employment Act 1955 (Act 265) and the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988 (Act 342).

He said the operation was carried out to ensure the welfare of employees was taken care of, especially in terms of compliance of standard operating procedure (SOP) to curb the spread of the pandemic now that more economic sectors are allowed to operate during the conditional movement control order (CMCO) in Kuala Lumpur.

About 200 enforcement officers and personnel from various agencies, including the National Security Council (MKN), Health Ministry and Immigration Department, took part in the operation. — Bernama