Labour deadlock to be resolved amicably

KEPALA BATAS: Malaysia’s labour deadlock with Indonesia will be resolved amicably, says the Human Resources Minister.

Datuk Seri M. Saravanan said for starters, he would meet Home Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin in Kuala Lumpur today to discuss a way forward.

“We will find the best solution as advised by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob,” he said after launching the Malaysia Family Job Guarantee Carnival at Institut Latihan Perindustrian (ILP) Kepala Batas yesterday.

He said the issue involving the recruitment of Bangladeshi workers would also be discussed with Hamzah.

The meeting is scheduled at Bukit Aman in the morning.

Asked about Indonesia’s reservations on the Immigration Department’s Sistem Maid Online (SMO), Saravanan said there was no major problem with it.

On whether the relationship with his Indonesian counterpart, Ida Fauziyah, had turned sour over the problem, Saravanan said both countries “are like relatives”.

On Friday, Ismail Sabri directed both ministers to resolve the Indonesian foreign labour standoff as soon as possible to avoid further disputes with the republic.

He said the matter should not be prolonged as he was worried that it could affect relations between both countries.

This followed the criticism of Indonesian Ambassador Hermono, who slammed Malaysia’s refusal to adhere to the memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed on April 1 in Jakarta on the recruitment of Indonesian domestic workers, describing it as a “disgrace”.

The ambassador subsequently announced an immediate freeze on the intake of Indonesian workers to Malaysia.On the issue with Bangladesh, Saravanan clarified that the attestation process involving over 2,000 Bangladeshi workers was conducted on employers and not recruitment agencies as reported.

He said the process was ongoing and being conducted by the Bangladesh High Commission in Kuala Lumpur.

Saravanan said his discussion today would look into ways to address the issue with prudence, adding that so far, Malaysia had approved the intake of foreign workers for the plantation, development, manufacturing, agriculture and services sectors.

In December, Saravanan and his Bangladeshi Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment Minister Imran Ahmed signed an MOU on the recruitment of Bangladeshi workers to be effective until December 2026.

Saravanan had said that the MOU outlined the responsibilities of both countries, including that of Malaysian employers and Bangladeshi workers, as well as private employment agencies in both countries.

Earlier, the minister launched the carnival which saw more than 12,000 job opportunities involving 24 employers being offered.

The two-day event organised by the Social Security Organisation (Socso) closed yesterday.

Also present were Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Seri Reezal Merican Naina Merican, who is the Kepala Batas MP, and Socso chief executive officer Datuk Seri Dr Mohammed Azman Aziz Mohammed.

On job opportunities in the country, Saravanan said since January, a total of 92,832 individuals had gained employment.

He said the ministry would continue with such programmes to achieve its target of getting 300,000 jobs for Malaysians.

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