government ban foreign hiring in services sectors
Kuala Lumpur, Jan 22, 2009
The Malaysian government announced a ban on the hiring of foreign
labour in factories, stores, restaurants and services sectors.
According to New Straits Times, on Wednesday, Human Resources Minister
S. Subramaniam said that cabinet members felt the time had come
to look at the welfare of locals who faced possible lay-offs. More
than 10,000 Malaysians have lost their jobs because of the slowdown
in the country's export-dependent economy, while another 45,000
are predicted to be out of work by the end of the year.
More than 2 million legal foreign workers are working in factories,
stores and restaurants. They can continue until their contracts
expire or until they are laid off, but fresh recruitment of foreigners
will not be approved.
S Subramaniam, the Malaysian human resources minister announced:
- Malaysia "can put a stop to hiring" foreign workers
if they are not needed. Skilled foreign labour needed mostly in
the manufacturing of electronic and electrical goods, textiles
and furniture may also be exempted.
- The companies to lay off foreign employees first if they must
slash their work force, a Human Resources Ministry official said.
- We must protect Malaysians from the threat of mass unemployment.
- No new non-Malaysian workers will be approved
According to the latest official data, Malaysia's unemployment
rate stands at 3.3 percent.
Malaysia is exposed to the global slowdown as it exports the equivalent
of 100 percent of gross domestic product and many private sector
economists now say that the country will fall into its first
Syed Hamid Albar, Home Minister said he would discuss with Subramaniam
how the new decision could be implemented. The petrol station owners
should stop employing foreigners had fallen on deaf ears. "I
see foreigners working there. This is a clear breach of government
policy." The people should extend their cooperation to the
government as it worked to face the weakening economic situation.