Outlining a labour strategy

A DETAILED analysis on the number of foreign workers that will be allowed in each permitted sector is being carried out, says Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin.

The Home Minister said the analysis was to ensure the government has a strategic direction in achieving a balance between the economy and health while the country was still fighting the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The Special Committee on Pandemic Management chaired by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob on Oct 22 agreed with the proposed standard operating procedure for the entry of foreign workers into Malaysia for all permitted sectors, with plantations being the first sector to be approved,” he said in reply to a question from Steven Choong Shiau Yoon (IND-Tebrau) during Question Time.

Choong asked about the sectors that would be allowed to employ foreign workers and the numbers allowed for each sector.

Hamzah said the government had agreed to allow the entry of 32,000 foreign workers with special exemptions to meet the manpower needs of the plantation sector.

He also said a total of 212,926 illegal immigrants and 11,751 employers have applied to participate in the Labour Recalibration Programme which would be carried out until Dec 31.

“These are specific sectors that had applied, including manufacturing with a total 65,484 applications registered to be rehired, construction (122,075), plantation (7,176), agriculture (12,003).

“These figures account for those who have registered with us and are interested in being legalised and ready to be rehired,” he added.

On the Return Recalibration Programme, Hamzah said 147,705 illegal immigrants have applied with a total of RM71.3mil worth of compounds collected.

“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 had been extended to employers in four sub-sectors in the service industry, namely wholesale and retail, restaurants, cargo, and cleaning services.

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