Body formed for accurate stats on foreign workers in Malaysia



A special committee has been set up to determine the exact numbers of registered foreign workers in the country, says Datuk Seri M. Saravanan, reports The Star.

The Human Resources Minister said the move was necessary as there were weaknesses in the present tallying system.

“The Prime Minister directed the setting up of a special committee headed by a senior minister to handle the matter so that we will be able to get an accurate number of foreign workers,” he said when answering a supplementary question raised by Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail (PH-Bandar Baru Kulim) in Dewan Rakyat on Wednesday (Aug 5).

He agreed with Saifuddin that different government agencies provided different figures, making it hard for the government to come out with policies on foreign workers.

“The committee is aware of the flaws and the Home Ministry has agreed for a common platform to determine the actual number of foreign workers.

“For example, the Human Resources Ministry has to answer questions on foreign workers in Parliament, yet the approval for them is done by the Home Ministry,” he added.

Earlier, Datuk Seri Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim (BN-Baling) informed the House that based on Immigration Department data, the number of registered foreign workers had gone down from 1.98 million in January to 1.54 million in May this year.

At present, Saravanan said there was a freeze on intake of foreign workers in all sectors until the end of the year.

He also said that as of July 1, manufacturers would have to advertise vacancies in the Jobs Malaysia portal for at least 30 days.

“Manufacturers will only be allowed to apply for foreign workers and expatriates if the vacancies are not filled in by locals,” he added.

Saravanan said the government would continue with its policy of weaning the nation’s dependence on foreign workers post Covid-19.

Last week, Saravanan said the government would consider applications to allow employers in the construction, plantations and agriculture sectors to apply for foreign workers once the freeze ends at the end of the year.

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