Recently, the Human Resources Ministry announced that the government had decided that only three sectors will be allowed to hire foreign workers. The three sectors are: the construction, plantation and agriculture sectors. The restriction aims to cut the nation's dependence on foreign workers.
According to Deputy Human Resources Minister Awang Hashim, other sectors that currently employ foreign workers will be expected to hire local workers instead.
"The government has previously announced its move to reduce our reliance on foreign workers. Currently, there are more than two million foreign workers registered with the Ministry of Human Resources. We have decided to only allow the three sectors to [continue to] employ foreign workers," Awang said.
Awang was responding to a question from Lubok Antu Member of Parliament (MP) Jugah Muyang, who asked about initiatives by the government to decrease the number of foreign workers in Malaysia.
However, the Deputy Minister did not define a timeline for the implementation of the proposed policy to enable only the construction, plantation and agriculture sectors to continue to hire foreign workers.
The government allows 3 sectors to hire foreign workers: the construction, plantation and agriculture sectors.
Government to consider RFID registration card for foreign workers
Datuk Seri Ismail Mohamed Said said the government will study the possibility of implementing an RFID card for foreign workers in the country. “On the RFID card for foreign workers, we will study to see whether it can be implemented in our country,” said Ismail.
The minister was asked if Putrajaya had any projects on implementing the RFID identity card which will include the personal and professional data of the foreign workers, similar to other developed countries such as Singapore and the United Arab Emirates.
Ismail had also said that as of now, there are 2,766 foreign workers whose temporary work permits have expired but the Home Ministry has decided to grant them and their employees some freedom.
“We give the opportunity because of the movement control order and their employees have obtained a special permit for 30 days to allow these foreign workers a one-year extension on their temporary work permits. But, this is conditional on Fomema health checks and immigration procedures,” said Ismail, referring to the Foreign Workers' Medical Examination programme.
In 2014, the government had then introduced the i-Kad as an identification card for foreigners, to assist authorities in tracking undocumented migrants.
The card was equipped with advanced security features including the biometric and barcodes to facilitate inspections by the authorities. But, the Immigration Department had ceased the programme since July 2019, quoting “technical issues”.
Sources: The Edge Markets & Malay Mail
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