PUTRAJAYA: Foreign workers will have to obtain an induction course certificate recognised by the Malaysian National Vocational Training Council (MLVK) issued by their respective countries before they are given work permits here.
This was proposed by the Human Resources Ministry and accepted by the Cabinet Committee on Foreign Workers, which met here yesterday.
Minister Datuk Dr Fong Chan Onn, said this requirement would be effective immediately.
MLVK officers will visit the training centres in the source countries to ensure the quality of the training there.
The training module will include the various cultures and religions and way of life in Malaysia so that they have a clearer picture of what to expect when they reach here, Dr Fong said.
As for those already in the country for less than a year, Dr Fong said the employers were required to organise a special orientation course for these workers.
Responding to the measures, the Malaysian Employers Federation and the Association of Foreign Maid Agencies (Papa) said prosecuting illegal foreign workers before deporting them may not be the best measure, as it would put a strain on the countrys limited resources.
MEF executive director Shamsuddin Bardan said the process would cost the country a lot of money because these workers needed to be cared for in jail.
It will also put a strain to our overworked judges, he said.
Papa president Abdul Jamil Jantan suggested that action be taken on the employers instead with the illegal workers becoming witnesses.
The National Union of Plantation Workers executive secretary A. Navamukundan, said a more effective move would be for contractors who provide labour services to be registered and licensed by the Human Resources Ministry.
MCA Youth International Affairs Bureau chief Fam Lee Ee urged the authorities to strictly enforce current laws against errant employers as there was no point in having laws otherwise.