Tuesday, December 16, 2014
Sending Foreign Workers Home.
There will be a labour crunch in Malaysia when some 500,000 foreign workers are deported next year under the 6P program. They include workers in the manufacturing, construction, plantation, agriculture and the food and beverage sectors. This has been emblazoned by the NST (Teusday December 16 )predicting that business will be DISRUPTED.The Malaysian Employers Federation emphasised that next year will be a BLEAK one for the industries with the loss of so many skilled workers. It will take a long while to recruit and train new ones from among the locals.workers with technical skill should be retained
While the fact that there are already too many foreign workers working in Malaysia, is a main concern for all Malaysians, we must also accept the fact that these foreign workers fill in positions which Malaysians don't seem to be interested in. The most obvious jobs that foreign workers fill in because Malaysians don't seem to be interested in include attendants at gas stations, house maids, construction labourers and security guards in the shopping malla, shophouses. and even banks.
Why are Malaysians not interested in filling in these positions, no one knows and no serious study has been made Even now when a minimum income has been set by government, we meet these foreign workers everyday at the gas stations while the expenses for getting house maids from Indonesia keep rising exorbitantly. Indonesians (the employees) seem to be setting the pay demanded rather than the Malaysian employers. While the percentage of foreign to local workers as recorded by Bank Negara shows a rise only from 1.9% (383,600) in 2009 to 2.4%(423,000) in 2013, the influx of unregistered and illegal workers could have doubled or tripled their number. Some sources say that the number could have gone up to a few millions.
so also the "artisan"
The manufacturing and construction work seems to be okay for the locals. Still, not enough of them are available thus allowing for an influx of foreign workers, many of them comprising of illegal entrants into the country. Employers seem to like them because they will accept lower pay, work harder with little complaints, and most importantly some of them already have certain skills which the industry requires. A chat with some supervisors at construction sites will elicit the comment that the foreign workers are more skilled and focussed on their work than the locals.sub-professional workers are difficult to find
A cursory look at the 6P programs as drawn up by the Ministry of Home Affairs indicated that while the steps to be taken to reduce the number of foreign workers are clear and explicit, the basis for weeding away their number in view of the skilled labor required by the industries and businesses in Malaysia, had not been considered.
Malysia certainly need all the skilled workers it can get to sustain the fast growing manufacturing and construction sectors. Whatever we have now should be retained in order to avoid any shortage while locals are being trained to take over. In fact a drive to recruit new workers from among Malaysians should be undertaken, including perhaps for jobs as domestic assistants, with proper and attractive income and allowances. Deporting experienced and skilled workers without immediate replacement at this juncture in the development of the country would be a stupid thing to do. Reducing their number should begin with those that can be immediately replaced without much training.