Govt to find ways to solve for­eign worker issue

New Straits Times - - News -

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.

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