SEREMBAN, June 13 — The Solid Waste Management and Public Cleansing Corporation (SWCorp) aims to reduce the sector’s dependence on foreign labour to just 25 per cent over the next five years.

SWCorp chief executive officer, Datuk Ahmad Husaini Abdul Rahman noted that currently there are 27,345 sanitation workers in the state, which has adopted Act 672 (Solid Waste and Public Cleansing Management Act 2007), of which 32.58 per cent are foreign workers.

“That figure is quite high, which is why we have programmes to increase local interest in 3D (difficult, dangerous, dirty) jobs, especially in solid waste management and public cleansing.

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“We are also collaborating with the Department of Skills Development to offer level three certification programmes in this field. Recently, over 400 individuals received this certification, which can lead to higher wages. We also plan to extend it to community colleges,” he said here today.

He was speaking to reporters after the 2024 Sanitation Workers’ Day Appreciation ceremony, which was also attended by SWM Environment corporate general manager, Mohd Norlisam Mohd Nordin.

He added that SWCorp is also conducting programmes in collaboration with concession companies and other agencies, including the Malaysian Prison Department for the “Behind Bars Programme”, where selected inmates are trained to work in the sector, thereby increasing the number of local workers.

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Ahmad Husaini emphasised that society needs to better appreciate and recognise the contributions and hard work of sanitation workers to motivate them to provide excellent service.

He added that maintaining cleanliness is not solely the responsibility of concession companies or government bodies; the community also needs to play a crucial role.

Therefore, he said, people need to be smarter in managing waste, starting with solid waste separation and practising the basic act of throwing rubbish into bins.

Earlier, at the ceremony, 32 sanitation workers from across the state, including three SWM Environment staff, received the Excellent Worker Award for their outstanding contributions and performance.

Ahmad Husaini stated that this recognition supports the hard work of solid waste collection and public sanitation workers and boosts their morale.

Meanwhile, Rohani Hamzah, 58, who has worked at SWM Environment’s Kuala Pilah branch for 23 years, expressed her gratitude for receiving the award for the first time, describing it as a morale booster to continue performing her duties well.

“With this job, I have been able to raise my children and provide them with higher education. I hope my colleagues will also commit wholeheartedly to this work,” said the mother of five. — Bernama