IPOH, Aug 11 — Human Resources Minister M. Kulasegaran said that the government will announce a new policy for the hiring of foreign workers after meeting the Home Ministry next Tuesday.
Kulasegaran said the new policy will be a revamp of the old one, which has presented a lot of problems, especially related to the issue of middlemen.
“On Tuesday, I will be meeting Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to discuss in detail the foreign worker issue.
“We wanted to have a systematic system for hiring foreign workers for all the parties, especially the employers, who are in dire need of manpower. The government will announce the new policy soon,” he told reporters when met at the “Ride with the Boss” cycling event here.
Kulasegaran said that his ministry had suggested the policy. However, he added that the final decision will be made by the Home Ministry.
“This policy is important because we need to find out why these foreign workers are needed What is the basis of the need and in what sector they needed.
“For example, can a foreign worker become a lawyer? This is among the details that will be discussed before the policy is announced and will also look into the suggested restrictions,” he said.
“My idea of hiring foreign workers is to have a face-to-face meeting with them before taking them in.”
Kulasegaran said the ministry is also planning to impose a target of 15 per cent foreign workers on each employer.
“For example, if a company has the capacity to offer jobs for 100 employees, only 15 foreign workers will be allowed to work there. The rest have to be local workers,” he said.
Kulasegaran also pointed out that only 15 per cent of foreign workers are documented at the moment in some companies, while the rest are working illegally.
Separately, regarding the suspension of Nepal workers to Malaysia, Kulasegaran said the Nepal government had given feedback and his ministry is in the final stage of preparing a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to resolve the problem.
“Before this, we did not have any MoU with them (Nepal). But now, they have agreed to have an MoU with us and I will get permission from the Cabinet to visit Nepal to solve this issue,” he said.
Kulasegaran said many employers are seeking Nepalese workers and the government has placed no restrictions on this. However, he said the problem is the middlemen who are profiting excessively.
“We want to do away with this middleman monopoly. I hope employers will be patient with us as we upgrade the system from time to time,” he said.