GEORGE TOWN: The semiconductor industry has gone past the stage of hiring large numbers of workers and will hire only on a needs basis due to concerns about high inflation.
“The influx of foreign workers might help other industries but we will only hire workers when there is a need,” said Malaysia Semiconductor Industry Association president Datuk Seri Wong Siew Hai.
“From the semiconductor viewpoint, those who need workers had applied much earlier – even six months ago – and have received approval for their foreign workers,” he said.
“They obtained the approval earlier and some have hired the workers they need.”
Wong was commenting on Human Resources Minister V. Sivakumar’s announcement that 500,000 foreign workers would be brought in via the Foreign Workers Employment Relaxation Plan to address the manpower shortage in the country.
“Everyone is worried about the high inflation and there are still concerns about the economy. People will be cautious when hiring. However, there is still demand for workers in other industries,” Wong said.
Although the electrical and electronics (E&E) industry is no longer hiring in numbers, he said other industries like plantation and construction still need workers.
“I am not sure if they have applied for foreign workers earlier. If they have not, the announcement will help them.
“The E&E industry is not going to hire on a large scale like it used to. There is no longer the hiring of over 1,000 workers like in previous years.
“There have been changes in consumer product demand, so most companies are hiring based on their needs,” he added.
Sivakumar had said the workers would be brought in for the manufacturing, construction, plantation, agriculture and services (restaurants only) sectors and subsectors.
“These five critical sectors have high labour needs, so for now, the decision is to help these five sectors first.
“After three months, we will consider (expanding it to) the retail sector and others,” he added.
Home Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail said the plan allowed employers to hire foreign workers from 15 source countries without having to meet quota requirements and employment eligibility prerequisites.