No more special quotas for hiring of foreign workers by Malaysian employers

FE REPORT | Sunday, 23 January 2022

Malaysia, one of the major destinations for the workers from Bangladesh, will not offer special quotas for recruitment of foreign workers.

"No more special quotas will be given for the recruitment of foreign workers in the country," The Star, a Malaysian online news portal on Saturday quoted Home Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin as saying.

He made it clear that every application from the employers must now go through the Ministry's evaluation committee to determine the number of foreign workers to be eligible for employment in accordance with the set terms and conditions.

"Whatever people may say, take note that any employer who needs to hire foreign workers must obtain the committee's approval according to the law," said Hamzah.

"Take the plantation sector for example, you must know the foreign worker quota and how many are eligible. Let's say there should be 1,000 workers but because there is no sufficient accommodation, so probably you can only get 400," he added.

Hamzah also explained that if an employer wants to get the additional workers they have applied for, they need to submit another application to the Human Resource Ministry or appeal to the Home Ministry for a review as the process is more stringent than before.

Speaking after a meet-the-people session at Kampung Tapah, Sungai Bayur, near Selama on Saturday, Hamzah said that if the quota system was not applied and recruitment could be carried out freely, foreign workers would simply enter the country without adhering to the conditions and criteria set, resulting in various welfare problems.

He was commenting on the call by the National Organisation of Private Service Agencies Malaysia (PAPSMA) secretary-general Dr Sukumaran Nair for the government to abolish the 'special approval' granted to certain parties to have a monopoly on the entry of foreign workers into the country to prevent syndicates from bringing in excessive number of foreign workers.

Previously, the employers had to deal through the Home Ministry on the employment of foreign workers, however, currently; all such matters can be done through KSM to ensure uniformity in policies and procedures for employment of the foreign workers.

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