PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) is against the government’s move in allowing Yemenis holding social visit pass to work in the country.
It said that using humanitarian grounds to justify allowing Yemenis to work without going through the normal hiring process was wrong.
MTUC president Datuk Abdul Halim Mansor (pic) said if they agreed to hire 10,000 Yemenis as reported on Saturday, it would turn Malaysia into a hub for foreign refugee labour.
“Sympathy and humanity of the Malaysian government cannot be taken advantage of.
“The government also should not sideline the law and the hiring process in the country and MTUC could not support the government on this if it (hiring Yemenis) happened, ” he said in a statement.
Yemen’s Ambassador to Malaysia Dr Adel Mohamed Ba Hamid was reported as saying that 10,000 Yemeni citizens holding the social visit pass in Malaysia would be able to work under certain requirements which would be finalised soon.
He said this was part of the programmes held in collaboration with Malaysia to render humanitarian assistance to Yemenis, whose country was ravaged by war.
“It’s not implemented but it has been agreed by the Home Ministry. Our request is to allow them to work in Yemeni establishments such as Yemeni tourism agencies, schools, groceries and restaurants, ” he said.
Abdul Halim added that the government must be strict as social visit pass holders, foreign students and refugees were among those who are not allowed to work in the country.
“All processes must follow the International Labour Organisation procedure in order to not discriminate against foreign workers.
“International students must return because the study permit cannot be changed to the employment permit and the social visit pass holders must be sent home because they will go against the Immigration Act (if they work).
“The government does not need to cooperate on the basis of humanity which can endanger the nation, ” he said.
Abdul Halim said the government’s vision to provide more employment opportunities to Malaysians, especially the youth, would also be stumped by the move.
“The government must take into account the people’s concern over the foreign labour workforce, which is now two million strong, or one-third of the local workforce, which stands at 6.7 million, ” he said.
He suggested that using local workforce in all sectors be made compulsory, and companies should adopt a 10:1 ratio, whereby for every 10 Malaysians hired, one foreign worker can be employed.