KUALA LUMPUR, July 18 — The federal government has decided to allow migrant workers from 15 countries to be employed in the country’s manufacturing, construction and service sectors, said Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin.
The home minister said his ministry and the Human Resources Ministry reached this decision after a meeting to discuss foreign recruitment and Indonesia’s freeze on supplying labour to Malaysia.
“To meet the needs of the industry, the meeting today also agreed to allow foreign workers to be employed in the scrap metal and laundry subsectors.
“We (the ministries) have also agreed to study the need for foreign workers including subsectors whose employment of foreign workers have been frozen,” he said at a press conference at the federal police headquarters in Bukit Aman here.
According to the Home Ministry’s website, the 15 countries are India, Thailand, Cambodia, Nepal, Myanmar, Laos, Vietnam, Philippines, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Indonesia and Kazakhstan.
At the same meeting, Hamzah said both ministries also approved the Construction Labour Exchange Centre Bhd’s (CLAB) proposal for the firm to fully manage the entry of foreign workers of more than 100 people for the construction sector in accordance with the Construction Industry Development Board Act.
He also said the meeting agreed to take into consideration applications involving foreign workers with short-term permits being employed in infrastructure and construction works within Restricted and Prohibited Areas that will be managed by the Home Ministry.
Also discussed were the recruitment of low-skilled foreign workers in the warehousing and birds’ nest harvesting subsector which Hamzah said will come under the purview of the Transport Ministry and the Agriculture and Food Industries Ministry.
“This is to ensure that this decision will not affect job opportunities for locals and to reduce dependency on foreign workers,” Hamzah added.