KUALA LUMPUR: A detailed analysis is being conducted to determine the number of foreign workers who will be allowed to enter the country for each permitted sector, says Home Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin (pic).
"The Home Ministry and other relevant government agencies are conducting a detailed analysis on this matter to ensure that the government has a strategic direction in achieving a balance between economy and health while the country is still trying to combat the Covid-19 pandemic," he said in reply to Steven Choong Shiau Yoon (IND-Tebrau) during Minister's Question Time in Parliament on Tuesday (Nov 2).
Choong had asked the ministry to state which sectors will be allowed to receive foreign workers and the number allowed to enter the country for each sector.
According to Hamzah, a total of 212,926 illegal immigrants have registered to be legalised under the government's labour recalibration programme.
He added that under the programme, which was announced last year, a total of 11,751 employers have also registered and the ministry was in the midst of verifying all the applications.
"Specific sectors wanted to apply, including manufacturing with a total 65,484 applications registered to be rehired, construction (122,075), plantations (7176) and agriculture (12,003).
"These are the figures of those who have registered with us, who are interested to be legalised and ready to be rehired by employers," he added.
In a supplementary question, Choong asked the ministry for updates on its recalibration programme, and measures taken to ensure that strategic sectors will not be affected by the lack of workers.
On the Return Recalibration Programme, Hamzah said a total of 147,705 illegal immigrants have applied, with a total collection of compounds worth RM71.3mil.
"This shows that the programme has been successful so far," he added.
In November last year, the government announced the labour recalibration plan where employers in the construction, manufacturing, plantation and agriculture sectors were allowed to legally employ undocumented foreign workers.
The plan was then extended to employers in four sub-sectors in the service industry, namely wholesale and retail, restaurants, cargo, and cleaning services.