KUALA LUMPUR: As of March 14, the Human Resources Ministry has approved an employment quota of 995,396 foreign workers, the Dewan Rakyat heard.
Deputy Human Resources Minister Mustapha Sakmud said the levy for 84.7% of the foreign workers was paid by their respective employers.
“Next, employers will be given 18 months (to settle) matters on bringing in these workers to Malaysia after the levy payments,” he said during Question Time in Parliament on Wednesday (March 29).
Mustapha said that the highest number of foreign workers was approved for the manufacturing sector, followed by construction, services, agriculture and mining.
“(Overcoming the labour shortage) now depends on whether or not the employers who obtained quotas want to bring in foreign workers,” he added in reply to Chow Kon Yeow (PH-Batu Kawan), who asked about the number of workers expected to be brought in and the time needed to overcome the current labour shortage.
In a supplementary question, Chow asked about measures taken by Putrajaya in addressing issues on the management of foreign labour.
Mustapha said the government had received numerous complaints on foreign labour and errant employers.
“There were cases where foreign workers were left at the airport after arriving.
“Some employers wanted to reduce their quota after getting approval,” he said.
Mustapha said Malaysia had arranged with 10 source countries for the hiring of foreign workers.
However, only eight – Bangladesh, China, Indonesia, Thailand, Pakistan, Vietnam, Nepal and Cambodia – had ongoing memorandums of understanding (MoUs) with Malaysia.
“Earlier MoUs with India and Sri Lanka expired," he said, adding that a new MoU with the Indian government were finalised on March 13.
“The MoU with India is expected to be signed before the end of the first quarter," he said.