Wednesday, October 26, 2016

MTUC: WE NEED TO ACT ON UNDOCUMENTED FOREIGN WORKERS

Press Statement

MTUC: WE NEED TO ACT ON UNDOCUMENTED FOREIGN WORKERS

MALAYSIAN Trades Union Congress (MTUC) takes seriously the recent statement by Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri Richard Riot that "for every 10 legal workers in Malaysia, there are seven illegal workers". In other words 70 per cent of foreign workers in Malaysia are illegal or undocumented and in breach of national law.

As it is a shocking open fact, MTUC also agreed with Datuk Seri Richard Riot that the existence of undocumented foreign labour workforce, hampering the Government's efforts to reduce dependence on foreign workers by 2020. Thus, we want the Government to immediately publicly make known its policy regarding the recruitment of foreign workers, and take a serious measures to overcome this issue.

Furthermore, it is time for the Government to make clear its policy on hiring new foreign workers. MTUC feels that as a matter of national interest, an official announcement must be made as soon as possible so everyone is clear.

We request the Government to have a meeting with all stakeholders, especially with the MTUC to explain the current policy on foreign workers. A single clear policy on employment of foreign workers is vital for the industry and the country in the longer run. We are willing to share our expertise and cooperation with the Government, and all relevant ministries.

It is undeniable that the MTUC had stated its disagreement with extreme dependence on foreign workers. Malaysia should move forward from depending on foreign workers. The industry and employers should work together with Government to reduce dependence on foreign workers. The absence of a clear policy is not good for Malaysia's image and reputation both at domestic and international arena.

MTUC is also suggesting that Human Resources Ministry should be given the primary role in formulating and implementing the foreign workers hiring policy as this will help the nation to have an effective and well-coordinated action plan in the future.

At the same time, the MTUC hope that the new income tax scheme designed for companies, which was announced by the Prime Minister in the 2017 Budget, will address retrenchment issues in the country and heavy reliance on foreign workers. MTUC also hope that employers will take opportunity to upgrade skills and their technologies to improve productivity and at the same time reduce hiring of foreign workers, and give more space for locals.

N.Gopal Kishnam
Secretary General


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