PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF) is of the view that there will be difficulties in filling manpower needs following the government’s move to stop the recruiting of foreign workers for certain service sub-sectors.
Its executive director Datuk Shamsuddin Bardan said he was surprised by the announcement as there was no prior discussion with the stakeholders, especially the affected employers.
Starting this year until 2021, there will be gradual discontinuation in hiring of foreign workers in the laundry, textile, hair dressing and goldsmith businesses.
Home Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, who announced this last week, said this was to prioritise the employment of local workers and to focus on more encouraging economic resources.
When contacted, Shamsuddin said he was still puzzled by the decision.“I am sure employers within the service sub-sectors will face difficulties in filling manpower needs.
“For example, the hairdressers. A majority of the barbers in the Klang Valley are foreigners. They charge about RM10 for a haircut.
“The stoppage of hiring foreigners will surely lead to various difficulties, including in getting an affordable haircut, ” he said.
Shamsuddin questioned whether the industry was prepared for this change in policy.
However, SME Association of Malaysia president Datuk Michael Kang said employers within the service sub-sectors should welcome the government’s decision and engage more on training of Malaysian workers.
“We should not look at this decision negatively. Instead, we should provide more local workers with the necessary skills and stop the reliance on foreign workers, ” he said.“More opportunities in high skills jobs should be given to locals.”