KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 24 — The Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF) said the special quota system for the recruitment of foreign workers should be continued to enable the private sector to fast track Malaysia’s recovery.

The federation said in a statement today that the country’s economy was severely impacted by the prolonged Covid-19 lockdowns and the recent floods, particularly in the Klang Valley.

MEF president Datuk Syed Hussain Syed Husman said the discontinuation of the quota system would impact employers’ operational requirements.

“It is critical for us to put our recovery efforts quickly on track, especially with the recent International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) announcement that Vietnam had surpassed Malaysia to become the fourth largest economy in South-east Asia,” he said.

“The MEF is of the view that the quota should be sector- and company demand-based. If employers suffer, all within the supply chain will also suffer,” he said, adding that foreign labour is needed in certain sectors.

Syed Hussain also said that based on the IMF’s gross domestic product data for 2020, Malaysia is now ranked sixth in Asean. The Philippines and Singapore overtook Malaysia in 2015. —  Bernama