May 31 deadline for foreign workers recruitment under recalibration programme remains, says Saifuddin

PUTRAJAYA: The May 31 deadline set for the recruitment of foreign workers through the Labour Recalibration Programme 2.0 will remain due to national security factors, says the Home Minister.

Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail said the decision was reached collectively by all regulatory agencies under the Home Ministry and ministries involved in the recalibration programme.

"The Home Ministry focuses on the elements of security and public order, the Human Resources Ministry from the perspective of the country's labour needs, and the Supervisory Agencies as custodians of each sector concerned in terms of projecting the needs of foreign labour based on the qualifications and salary requirements of foreign workers," he said on Friday (March 8).

He said this when commenting on media reports regarding the National Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Malaysia's call for the government to reverse its decision to bring forward the deadline for hiring foreign workers last week.

Saifuddin Nasution said the deadline set would enable the government to evaluate the effectiveness of the initiatives implemented and accurately assess the need for foreign labour in the country.

"It is to assist the government before considering the need to open the quota for employing foreign workers and allows monitoring of the effectiveness of the adjustment measures that have been decided upon," he said, adding that it also provided room for the government to explore better management of foreign workers.

Meanwhile, he said the period for the entry of foreign workers should also be brought forward in line with the government's desire to expedite the process of admitting foreign workers to meet urgent industrial needs.

"This decision is also expected to prevent the exploitation of foreign workers as reported by various media channels before," he said.

Meanwhile, he said RM2,899,900 in compounds had been successfully collected as of Thursday (March 7) through the Migrant Repatriation Programme, which began on March 1.

He said during the period, 5,983 illegal immigrants had been registered: 3,115 people were from Indonesia, 846 from Bangladesh and 700 from India. Of them, 1,864 have returned to their country of origin.

"Immigrants from Indonesia recorded the highest number of returnees to their country of origin," he said.

Immigrants recorded from other countries include Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Myanmar, the Philippines, Yemen, Syria, Egypt, Nigeria, Thailand, Vietnam, and China. – Bernama

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