MP: Ministry incoordination on foreign worker recruiting threatens economic recovery

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MalaysiaMalaysia – Uncoordinated efforts in the management and procurement of foreign employees in all areas, according to a member of Parliament, would impede the country’s economic progress and create even more difficulties, particularly at a time when there is a labor shortage.

Maria Chin Abdullah, a member of Parliament from Petaling Jaya, believes that the Ministry of Human Resources’ (MoHR) efforts should be focused more on a strategic approach to rebuilding ailing sectors hit by the Covid-19 outbreak.

She went on to say that each ministry seemed to be functioning in isolation, concentrating only on developing its particular portfolio.

“The MoHR, the Ministry of Home Affairs, and other associated Ministries must work together to oversee the recruitment of foreign employees in a methodical and professional manner.” Last year, the minister of plantation industries and commodities declared on the spur of the moment that her ministry would be hiring 50,000 foreign laborers to work on plantations.

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She said that the Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM) estimates that Malaysia would need around 600,000 foreign employees by 2022 to solve the present workforce deficit and restore firms to pre-pandemic levels.

Electric and electronics (E&E), food and drinks, chemicals and chemical goods, fabricated metal and rubber products are also among the top five, according to FMM.

The manufacturing sub-sectors that have been worst hit by the scarcity.

“While it would be great to expect our local employees to do these laborious occupations, this is not the case. This, too, implies a mismatch between market need for labor and the education levels of our graduates.

“Aside from the salaries given being too low for employees, industries are hesitant to react adequately, and the government has done little to alleviate the situation,” she added.

Maria believes that the minimum wage should be reconsidered since the present floor of RM1,200 is outdated and inadequate, and that it should be increased to at least RM1,500 by the end of the year.

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