Malaysia has decided to temporarily suspend the hiring of foreign workers in an effort to encourage its own people to take unskilled jobs.
Concerned stakeholders said the move could have adverse effect in the long run as Malaysia is home to around 700,000 Nepali workers. They, however, said that the decision is unlikely to make any significant impact at present as very few Nepali workers are actually willing to take jobs in Malaysia due to heavy recruitment costs, low pay and a weak ringgit.
Only 35,335 Nepalis obtained work permits for Malaysia in the first six months of the current fiscal year, nearly 70 percent less than the number of Nepalis who went there in the same period a year earlier, according to the Department of Foreign Employment. More than 64,000 took jobs each in Qatar and Saudi Arabia in the given period.
Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, Malaysia’s deputy prime minister and home minister, took to Twitter on Friday to inform about the decision to suspend recruitment of foreign workers including 1.5 million Bangladeshis the country was in the process of hiring.
Hamidi said that the suspension on recruitment of foreign workers would be lifted after thoroughly analysing the demand for foreign workers in various sectors.
Hamidi also said the Malaysian government would take stern measures to arrest and deport foreigners illegally working there. Malaysia earlier this month introduced a new legalisation scheme for undocumented workers.
According to the Malaysian media, the move would gradually reduce the increasing dominance of foreign workers in sectors including plantation, manufacturing, construction, and cleaning. Malaysia mostly hires unskilled workers from countries like Nepal, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Myanmar and India due to the reluctance of its youth to take up dirty, dangerous and difficult jobs.
Source: The Kathmandu Post