KUALA LUMPUR, April 6 — The Ministry of Human Resources in collaboration with the Prisons Department is aiming for a total of 15,000 ex-prisoners and Henry Gurney school inmates and convicts due for release soon to be given employment this year.

Human Resources Minister V. Sivakumar said there are currently 77,000 prisoners who can become productive workers and be hired upon their release, thus reducing the country’s dependence on foreign workers.

“We are too dependent on foreign workers. It is a loss if we do not take advantage of manpower available in the country.

“In this regard, I urge more employers to come forward to give this group a second chance to start a new life after serving their sentence,” he said.

He said this at a press conference after the signing of a Note of Collaboration (NoC) between the Social Security Organisation (Socso) and Prisons Department at Wisma Perkeso here today.

Also present were Prisons director-general Datuk Nordin Muhamad and Socso chief executive Datuk Seri Mohammed Azman Aziz Mohammed.

Sivakumar said that from 2021 until last month, a total of 588 prisoners, ex-prisoners and inmates of Henry Gurney School had received job offers through initiatives such as the Free Inmates Licence Placement Programme and Re-Entry@MyFutureJobs Programme.

“The number comprised 409 ex-prisoners, 44 parolees and persons under supervision while the rest involved inmates of Henry Gurney School.

Meanwhile, Sivakumar said the number of Cambodian workers in the country is expected to increase as a result of the two Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) signed during Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s visit to Cambodia on March 27.

Cambodia has agreed to provide training and exposure to its workforce before sending them to work in Malaysia.

According to him, there are 4,422 Cambodian workers in the country, including 926 domestic workers. — Bernama