Thursday, February 11, 2016

MALAYSIA:::Employ locals, reduce dependency on foreign workers: MTUC

KUALA LUMPUR: The issue of increased levy for foreign workers would be easily solved if employers make a conscious efforts to employ locals and reduce their dependence on foreigners.

 Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) Secretary-General Gopal Kishnam told Bernama today that the problem persisted because employers were over dependent on foreigners and refused to provide job opportunities for locals. “At present there are more than 2.1 million registered and an estimated four million unregistered foreign workers in Malaysia. 

“The government must be firm in implementing the policy. They should request employers to submit a long-term blueprint on how they are going to reduce their dependence on foreign workers,” he said, adding that MTUC was willing to assist both parties in finding an amicable solution to the recurring problem. Gopal said the government wanted to reduce the number of foreign workers, who accounted for about 30 to 35 per cent of the total workforce presently, to about 15 per cent by 2020. 

He said to discourage employers, the government recently hiked the levy to RM2,500 for foreigner workers in the manufacturing and construction sectors and RM1,500 for those in the agriculture and plantation sectors. “This was met with strong opposition by employers who felt that it will burden them under the present economic situation. “The government has since deferred the decision pending an engagement with employers and other stakeholders,” he added.--BERNAMA


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