Saturday, September 28, 2013

MALAYSIA: Do proper study on foreign workers, says MTUC

KUALA LUMPUR: The government needs to conduct a comprehensive study on local needs for foreign manpower and come up with a mechanism to manage the influx of those who come in and out of this country.

Most foreign workers plying their trade in the agriculture, construction and service sectors, as well as domestic helpers, fail to return to their countries of origin once their tenures of service are over.
These were the views of Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) president Khalid Atan when asked to comment on the government's move to legalise more than 500,000 illegal Indonesian workers in the country.
The decision was a result of a meeting between Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and Indonesian Manpower and Transmigration Minister Muhaimin Iskandar in Putrajaya.
"The influx of foreign workers is huge and they work in almost all sectors. Till today, there is no specific data or study conducted by government or its agencies to see how many of them are here, how many have left, how many have overstayed and how many we actually need."
He added there was an urgent need to have a comprehensive study to ensure the government did not over-employ foreign workers and put a stop to the presence of illegal workers.
Khalid said MTUC was concerned with the influx of foreign workers as it jeopardised the chances of locals obtaining a job.
"I can't deny that we need them, but there must be a control to this. Our locals are getting unemployed as a result of the influx."
Khalid added that by legalising illegal workers, the government was not going to the root of the problem. He said the problem lay with the agents who abused the law by bringing in foreign workers.
"Some are even smuggled in. We need to put a stop to this. I am not blaming the government, but those agents," adding that he felt with proper procedures, agents bringing in illegal workers could be curbed while the government should take charge of the process of bringing in foreign workers.
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