KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 26 — DAP chairman Lim Guan Eng today reminded Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri M. Saravanan about their resignation challenge to each other in relation to the country’s sharp labour shortage.

The Bagan MP claimed he had no choice but to issue a statement after waiting 10 days and failing to hear from the minister.

Last September 15, Lim accepted Saravanan’s challenge to resign as DAP chairman made in Penang two days prior.

“Saravanan said that he would resign as a minister if flaws can be found. Saravanan’s exact words in a news report in The Vibes on 13 September; If he (Lim) cannot find anything wrong with how the ministry is addressing the workers’ shortage, he should resign on the spot as the (DAP chairman). If he does find something wrong, then I will resign instead,” Lim said in a statement.


He also said his criticism of Saravanan’s failure to handle the worker shortage was based on remarks made by the Malaysian Palm Oil Association (MPOA), which estimated that only 47,000 foreign workers have been recruited since January this year for all sectors.

Lim said this was a mere 12 per cent of 385,000 applications approved by Saravanan since the year started.

Lim then asked Saravanan the point of increasing approvals for up to 400,000 migrant workers when the foreigners were not allowed to enter the country.


“This is another empty boast by an incompetent minister who should be making sure that his approvals are implemented, or else, what is the point of giving approvals in the first place?

“In response, Saravanan had angrily issued the challenge to me. But he has maintained complete silence after that,” Lim claimed.

He said Saravanan cannot keep silent after issuing the dare.

He also said that industry leaders have openly made clear the number of workers they urgently need, with the MPOA saying it requires 120,000 and the electrical and electronics sector 30,000 workers.

“The severe worker shortage has incurred losses of RM33.5 billion to the plantation sector, glove and auto spare parts industry alone.

“Other industries will also record losses of tens of billions of ringgit,” Lim added.