Govt to find ways to solve foreign worker issue
PUTRAJAYA: The government will look into holistic approaches to address issues faced by industry players in hiring foreign workers.
Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Johari Abdul Ghani said yesterday some industry players complained that they were facing difficulties in recruiting foreign workers due to the high cost of human resources.
He also denied that the implementation of Enforcement Card (E-Card) by the Immigration Department was the main factor the employers had difficulties in hiring foreign workers.
“This issue does not involve only the government but also the industry players.
“While we are keen to help them, we are also dealing with the number of illegals.
“Some players create a source for these illegal foreign workers, so it is important for them to play their role.
“The Finance Ministry will have a dialogue session with trade associations and Human Resources Ministry to look at this issue.
“We will also engage with Bank Negara Malaysia and the Immigration Department,” he said after chairing the 2018 Budget Focus Group Meeting: Easing the Cost of Doing Business.
Johari said the meeting reflected the government’s commitment in easing the cost of doing business in order to make Malaysia a preferred business destination.
When asked if there was any impact on the productivity on businesses since the E-Card implementation, Johari said it was time to stop relying on foreign workers.
“Our focus is to spur the fourth industrial revolution (Industry 4.0), which is to minimise dependency on manpower. So we should not rely too much on foreign workers,” he said.
Other issues raised in the meeting include the cost of utilities, logistics and infrastructures.
He said some industry players had highlighted the issues of higher utilities cost, such as inconsistent supply of water.
Johari said the government would look into the issues.
He said some issues could be solved, while some might need time to be resolved as it involved relevant agencies and ministries.