Take advantage of foreign worker hiring freeze, minister tells Malaysians

Salleh Keruak

(Malay Mail Online) – Malaysians should make full use of Putrajaya’s decision to suspend its planned recruitment of foreign workers by taking up jobs otherwise given to foreign nationalities, Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak said today.

The communications and multimedia minister said Malaysians should welcome the announcement made by Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi this morning.

“This is a good development,” Salleh told reporters here after signing a bilateral communications sharing MoU with Singapore.

“So with this, Malaysians should use this opportunity to grab up available jobs provided by this decision,” he added.

This morning, Zahid said Putrajaya is freezing its recruitment foreign workers, including the 1.5 million Bangladeshis offered by Dhaka.

“The government has decided to suspend the intake of foreign workers from providing countries, Bangladesh and to urge employers to hire local workers,” the deputy prime minister announced on Twitter.

Zahid’s announcement came after Human Resource Minister Datuk Seri Richard Riot impressed upon Malaysians the need to bring in foreign workers to address what he said were critical labour shortages in the manufacturing and plantation sectors.

Putrajaya is facing resistance and criticism from several civil and trade groups over its plan to bring in the foreign workers in significant numbers.

Workers groups such as the Malaysian Trade Unions Congress (MTUC) said locals should be given priority for jobs. It acknowledged Malaysians’ tendency to reject 3D jobs, but argued that it was only because of the low pay.