PETALING JAYA: Despite calls for more foreign workers, the government has yet to make a decision to lift the freeze on new applications, says Deputy Human Resource Minister Mustapha Sakmud.
He said any such decision could only be made by the Cabinet.
"The Cabinet has not made any decision on the issue, so we have to wait if they want to re-open or lift the freeze for the application of foreign workers," he said here on Thursday (June 1).
Recently, Malaysian Indian Restaurant Owners Association (Primas) president Govindasamy Jayabalan criticised the move to freeze applications for workers, saying there was a need to fill the 30% manpower shortage.
On March 19, Human Resources Minister V. Sivakumar announced that the quota application and approval system for foreign workers, including through the Foreign Worker Employment Relaxation Plan (PKPPA), had been postponed to an undetermined date.
On another matter, Mustapha said that the Labour Department will be tasked to handle the closure of some Panasonic Malaysia operations here.
However, he said they needed to have the needed information first.
"If it involves the welfare of employees, we will surely look into the matter to ensure their rights are protected," he said.
It was reported that the closure of some of Panasonic Malaysia's operations would leave hundreds jobless.
Earlier, Mustapha launched the Social Security Organisation (Socso) 3.0 Health Screening Program (HSP) which offers free health screening to contributors with a more comprehensive scope of health tests.