KUALA LUMPUR: Any policy to restrict jobs for cooks in local restaurants to be Malaysians only will not be absolute, and foreigners may still be employed, says Human Resources Minister M. Kulasegaran.
"I suggested we focus on giving locals the jobs, but we had a lot of objections from restaurant operators who said this policy shift does not give them time to overcome the lack of workers.
"We want a win-win situation and so no blanket policy will be made on this. We will give a chance to all restaurants to bring foreign guest cooks to work here," he said in reply to a question by Datuk Danyal Balagopal Abdullah (PH-Port Dickson) in Parliament on Thursday (July 26).
On June 22, Kulasegaran said all restaurants serving Malaysian food could only hire locals as cooks from Jan 1 next year, resulting in some brickbats hurled at him on social media.
Later, he clarified that the local cooks requirement was only applicable to "ordinary local food" outlets and not to foreign cuisine restaurants, high-end restaurants and five-star hotels, which require specialised cooks.
Kulasegaran also told the Dewan Rakyat that Malaysia should stop being overly dependent on foreign workers, and new policies were needed to curb the matter.
"The Cabinet recently set up a committee between my ministry and the Home Ministry, where we will work on a new policy in hiring foreign workers.
"Among the issues we will study are the existing haphazard policies," he said.
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