MALAYSIA: The Malaysian government’s hiring freeze on foreign workers has been extended until at least the end of this year.
The ban has made it impossible for organisations to bring in labour from outside of the country, severely impacting the operations of several key industries.
The ban was first implemented in April 2020, as a result of the sudden spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.
It was lifted in August, 2020, when the government did allow certain foreign workers to enter.
However in March 2021, the ban was reinstated, and has recently been extended until at least the end of December 2021.
The President of the SME Association, Datuk Michael Kang, has said that Industries like plantations, manufacturing, and others are suffering from a shortage of workforce, and they have asked for some leeway from the government.
"I think we need to look at the sector and areas of concern. Construction is really a 3D job that Malaysians don't want to be involved in," he said.
Still, HR Minister Datuk Seri M. Saravan said this hiring freeze would be extended until the end of December 2021 and there was very little chance of industry-specific exemptions.
"Consequently, the government has determined that there will be no entry of both categories of foreign workers until December 31, 2021," he said in a statement.