All restaurants serving Malaysian food must have local cooks from Jan 1

  • Nation
  • Saturday, 23 Jun 2018

File photo of the famous assam laksa stall at Air Itam market in Penang. - LIM BENG TATT / The Star

PETALING JAYA: The Human Resources Ministry wants all restaurants serving Malaysian food to only recruit locals as cooks from Jan 1, says its minister M. Kulasegaran.

However, he said all operators would be given up to the end of the year to ensure only local cooks work in their restaurants.

He said the new regulation would mean that only Malaysians would be allowed to cook in all restaurants serving local food effective Jan 1.

“We want locals to be employed as cooks. There will be no compromise ... we are giving you notice to do it by Dec 31. If you don’t do it, we can’t help it,” he told Bernama News Channel yesterday.

Earlier, Kulasegaran held a meeting with the Indian Restaurant Ope­rators Association (Prisma) here.

He said the ministry would be holding more meetings with Prisma as well as the Indian Muslim Restaurant Operators Association (Presma) soon on the implementation of local cooks in restaurants.

He said the move would reduce dependence of foreign labour and ensure the quality of local food.

He said the ministry would follow the footsteps of the Penang government in banning foreigners as cooks in food outlets, restaurants as well as stalls around the island.

Since 2014, the Penang government prohibited foreigners to work as cooks at hawker stalls in the effort to protect national food heritage.

Prisma president P. Muthusamy said the decision was shocking and would have major implications on operators.

“In the past few years, we have been facing problems of manpower. In fact, more than 500 restaurants had closed during the period due to the shortage of workers,” he said.

Muthusamy hopes the ministry will hold further discussions with food operators nationwide before implementing the ruling. — Bernama

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