Malaysia only has 1.4 million foreign workers

PUTRAJAYA: The number of foreign workers nationwide is currently still low with a total of 1,459,196 people recorded as of December 31 last year.

The matter was acknowledged by the Minister of Human Resources, V. Sivakumar and assured that the government is aware of the complaints of employers from various sectors.

“We are aware that not only in the field of plantations, but many other industries are affected and we hope that this issue can be dealt with in the near future,” he said after co-chairing with Home Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail a Special Meeting of the Joint Committee on the Management of Foreign Workers, here today.

The Ministry of Human Resources (KSM) was given the task of coordinating energy from 15 resource countries in addition to facilitating related matters, especially the approval of quotas by sector.

Commenting further, he explained that all foreign workers in Malaysia hold Temporary Work Visit Passes (PLKS) with the manufacturing sector recording the highest.

“As of the end of last year, 538,148 people worked in this field, followed by the construction sector with 315,932 people and services around 221,621 people,” he added.

The amount also includes 316,446 new foreign workers employed last year, with the most nationals being from Bangladesh, Indonesia and Nepal.

However, he said, throughout last year, the government approved 676,070 people to fill the quota of foreign workers out of a total of 1,606,724 applications.

Out of the total number of approvals, only 635,234 quotas have been levied while the number of people applying for Visa With Reference is only 463,255 people.

Therefore, at the meeting, Sivakumar said he hoped that the figure after this would be able to jump past more than 50 percent of the total 1.6 million applications.

Even in an optimistic tone, he is confident that if all sectors succeed in meeting the foreign worker quota set by his ministry, it will drive the country’s economic trend. – MESSENGER

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