Foreign worker freeze proposal to be put to the Cabinet

  • Nation
  • Wednesday, 17 Dec 2008

JOHOR BARU: The electronics and electrical sectors will not be allowed to hire new foreign workers under a proposal by the Human Resources Ministry to be discussed by the Cabinet soon.

Its minister Datuk Dr S. Subra- maniam said a committee on foreign workers, headed by the ministry’s secretary-general, would first discuss the matter with representatives from other ministries.

“It must be discussed and streamlined,” he said, adding the ministry did not encourage employers to hire foreign workers as vacancies could be filled by locals in sectors experiencing problems.

“This is just a short-term suggestion. However, we will consider certain cases where companies could face difficulties if they do not hire foreign workers,” he told reporters after launching the guide book on retrenchment management here yesterday.

He also said the ministry would review the Employment Act in order to enable employers to deal with the economic crisis, especially in areas concerning the work force.

He added that 28,000 retrenched workers nationwide were registered with the ministry between January and November this year, including 5,600 who received voluntary separation schemes (VSS).

“So far, the ministry has assisted 6,000 retrenched workers in getting employment thorough various efforts, such as job carnivals and interviews.

“To date, 3,089 workers have been retrenched in Johor,” he said. adding that Iskandar Malaysia would offer about 10,000 jobs in two or three years.

Meanwhile, Dr Subramaniam said that the ministry’s operations centres had been launched nationwide in order to offer assistance and advice to workers.

Those in need of advice can also called the ministry’s hotline at 03-8890 5015/6/7/8.

In BUTTERWORTH, Works Mi- nister Datuk Mohd Zin Mohamed said the Government had identified 406 projects worth RM9.4bil that would be implemented under the industrialised building system (IBS) to reduce dependency on foreign workers.

He said IBS, which uses prefabricated parts for building projects, would be used in all government projects and in about 70% of projects by its agencies.

“This is a big opportunity that should not be missed as it stands to benefit those in the construction industry,” he said.

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