Govt mulls temporary work permits


With the people: Muhyiddin (left) being greeted during a meeting with Pagoh community leaders at the Pagoh Sports Complex in Johor. — Bernama

MUAR: The government is considering issuing temporary work permits to illegals in the country to overcome the shortage of foreign workers in the palm oil and rubber industries following the closure of the border.

Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said the government was seeking ways to solve the problem of shortage of foreign workers in these two sectors, especially after Malaysia closed its borders to curb the spread of Covid-19.

“The proposal is to give one- or two-year work permits, ” he said at a meet-the-people session with the Chinese community and Chinese non-governmental organisations in Pagoh yesterday.

“Give them a temporary licence or work permit, like what we call an amnesty or legalisation programme.

“This is what we are mulling over, ” he said when replying to a question from Bukit Pasir Tiong Hua Association chairman Er Yu Peng on the government’s efforts to help residents involved in the palm oil sector in Pagoh as they are now facing a shortage of workers due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Muhyiddin, who is Pagoh MP, also said he had to venture out of the Klang Valley, which is under the conditional movement control order (MCO), to perform his duty as Prime Minister, among others, and to find out how the people and businesses were coping with the impact of Covid-19.

He said he had to do this to get a good feel of the Covid-19 situation but would always abide by the standard operating procedure to curb the spread of the disease.

He stressed that he has been tested 21 times for Covid-19 so far.

“Yesterday, I underwent a test for the 21st time. I was tested on my return from Sabah, everywhere I went I had to be tested on my return, ” he said.

“I was tested before attending Parliament. I was tested again before having an audience with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and I was tested before attending Cabinet meetings, ” he added. — Bernama

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