Malaysia ends special quotas for hiring foreigners

MALAYSIA: The national government has abolished a system of special quotas for the recruitment of foreign workers. But employers are urging it to reconsider.

Home Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin said the ministry’s evaluation committee will now screen every application from employers to determine the number of eligible foreign workers on a case-by-case basis.

Hamzah noted that employers should re-apply to the Human Resource Ministry or appeal to the Home Ministry for a review if they need to hire additional workers.

He explained that the quota system had inherent risks for foreign workers, who could encounter welfare problems once inside the country.

The Malaysian Employers Federation has urged the government to review its decision.

Federation president Syed Hussain Husman said the special quota system should continue, as an adequate number of workers was necessary for the private sector to rebuild the economy.

“It is critical for us to put back our economic recovery efforts quickly on track, especially with the recent announcement by the International Monetary Fund that Vietnam had surpassed Malaysia to become the fourth largest economy in Southeast Asia,” he said.

Hussain noted that recruiting more foreigners was an immediate need.

“We must accept the reality that locals are not interested to fill up the vacancies and address the need to bring in foreign workers urgently for the sake of our economic recovery,” he said.

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