Investors cannot wait for M’sia to produce enough skilled labour

KUALA LUMPUR: Investors cannot wait much longer for Malaysia to produce more skilled workers as they are needed now, says Datuk Seri Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz in response to objections to allow foreign tertiary education graduates to temporarily work in Malaysia.

“Investors cannot wait four more years.

“For example, the electrical and electronics industry needs 50,000 engineers. Our institutes of higher learning so far only produces 5,000 graduates a year. So, to meet the demand of the industry will take time,” he said in a video posted on X yesterday.

“If investors want graduates in artificial intelligence (AI), for example, we cannot provide them candidates with political science degrees,” Tengku Zafrul said as reported by Bernama.

“After all, they (foreign graduates) also understand our work culture, which makes them the right choice,” he said.

He added that by allowing foreign graduates of local institutes of higher education to work temporarily in the country, the local industry will get the necessary supply of skilled manpower.

“Local IHE (can) be empowered in the international arena and our local graduates will continue to be given opportunities when they are ready,” he added.

Tengku Zafrul said his ministry as well as the ministries of Higher Education, Human Resources, Science, Technology and Innovation are working to increase the number of students and skilled workers in high-tech fields.

He was responding to a statement by the Congress of Unions of Employees in the Public and Civil Services (Cuepacs) on Friday.

Cuepacs had objected to any proposal to let foreign graduates work in Malaysia to address the shortage of skilled manpower.

Its president, Datuk Adnan Mat, said the proposal not only negates opportunities for locals, but also undermines the country’s efforts to produce highly-skilled local graduates.

He said the policy of allowing foreign graduates to fill vacancies in the high-tech sector is a step backwards and may result in local graduates receiving lower wages and increasing the unemployment rate in the future.

“Various programmes have been introduced by local higher education institutions (HEIs) at considerable investment to produce highly-skilled graduates in line with the government’s aspirations.

“The country is currently on the right track in producing such graduates and no longer needs to depend on foreign labour,” he said.

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MITI , foreign graduates , skilled workers


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