Malaysia freezes re­cruit­ment of for­eign work­ers af­ter protests

The Pak Banker - - BUSINESS -

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia said it will sus­pend the re­cruit­ment of for­eign work­ers while it as­sesses gaps in the la­bor force, a se­cond flip-flop on em­ploy­ment poli­cies this month af­ter ob­jec­tions over the plans. The freeze will also al­low the govern­ment to re­view a levy sys­tem for over­seas work­ers in Malaysia, state news agency Ber­nama re­ported Fri­day, cit­ing Deputy Prime Min­is­ter Zahid Hamidi. The de­ci­sion came af­ter com­pa­nies and some non-govern­ment or­ga­ni­za­tions protested a re­ported in­take of 1.5 mil­lion work­ers from Bangladesh over the next three years, which the govern­ment ear­lier said was to meet the de­mands of in­dus­tries. Malaysia's Hu­man Re­sources Min­is­ter Richard Riot Jaem clar­i­fied Fri­day that he signed an agree­ment with Bangladesh's govern­ment this week that would al­low 1.5 mil­lion Bangladeshis reg­is­tered to seek work over­seas to find jobs in Malaysia. It didn't mean that all of them will make their way to the South­east Asian na­tion, he said. The ex­pla­na­tion came af­ter wide­spread crit­i­cism in Malaysia, with at least one man­u­fac­tur­ers group say­ing the en­try of a large num­ber of work­ers would ex­ac­er­bate the prob­lem of un­doc­u­mented for­eign la­bor in the coun­try.

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