Companies that do not prioritise hiring locals may lose out on govt projects – Kulasegaran
KUCHING: The Ministry of Human Resources ( MoHR) is considering not granting government projects to corporations that do not prioritise locals over foreign labour when it comes to employment opportunities.
Minister M. Kulasegaran said such consideration of a new policy aimed to defend the welfare and benefits of Malaysians.
He conceded that the nation is presently facing severe problems related to foreign labour, saying his ministry would not hesitate to make it mandatory for corporations to recruit locals, if need be.
“MoHR is in discussion with other relevant departments and agencies to look into the possibility of having this new policy,” he said in an exclusive interview with The Borneo Post’s sister paper Oriental Daily in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.
Kulasegaran pointed out that the federal government will request corporations to first consider employing locals before granting them any government projects.
He said the government is obligated to protect the interests of Malaysians especially those who are seeking employment.
“Only those having to do with the construction industry and the need to abide by a contract or agreement can directly recruit foreign labour,” he added.
He said his ministry is looking into whether there is really a need for foreign labour – an issue which had been noted to cause some social ills – let alone the outflow of billions of ringgit.
Because of this, Kulasegaran said the government will review all agreements pertaining to the recruitment of foreign labour, particularly the one signed between Malaysia and Bangladesh.
He divulged that the former Home Minister had bypassed the MoHR to sign the agreement with Bangladesh in order to bring in labour from the south Asian nation.
“We need to address this problem with urgency. Hence, we will meet with the new Home Minister (Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin) to discuss and solve the problem.”
On the brain drain issue which has been raised, Kulasegaran said the government will keep its election promise by setting up a Fair Employment Commission to tackle the matter.
According to him, about 300,000 Malaysians are currently working in Singapore.
Apart from attractive remuneration, he believed that these Malaysians chose Singapore over their own nation due to better working environment and prospects.
As such, he said the ministry will tighten the enforcement of labour laws and regulations nationwide as a means to provide an environment more conducive to employees.
It is hoped that Malaysians working abroad will change their mind and return home for employment with the Malaysian government’s efforts to provide better workplaces for employees, he added.
He added that employers were also welcomed to contact the ministry, which is responsible for providing professional assistance.
“We have a comprehensive mechanism and we welcome all to approach us to find out more. If you want to save the trouble of coming to us personally, drop us a request or an enquiry through our website.
“The problem we have today is that many employers do not comply with the law and regulations, so we are left with no choice but to enforce the law in a stringent manner,” he said.