[Documents menu] Documents menu
Message-ID: <>
Date: Mon, 5 Jan 1998 18:09:10 +0800
Sender: Southeast Asia Discussion List <SEASIA-L@msu.edu>
From: Lynn August Linse <linsela@ROBUSTDC.COM>
Subject: FWD: MY: Foreign workers will bear brunt of job losses
To: Multiple recipients of list SEASIA-L <SEASIA-L@msu.edu>

Foreign workers will bear brunt of job losses

From Singapore Press
2 January 1998

KUALA LUMPUR -- The Malaysian government has to come up with strict measures to protect the interests of local workers as an estimated one million jobs are expected to be lost this year.

The Star yesterday quoted Deputy Home Minister Datuk Mohd Tajol Rosli Ghazali as saying foreign workers would have to bear the "costs" of the economic downturn.

"This loss means that foreign workers must give up their jobs to the locals," he said after launching the Immigration Department's 1998 Work Programme here on Friday.

He said the ministry had frozen work-permit applications and renewal in certain service sectors excluding domestic maids.

Foreign workers would be redeployed to the plantation and export-oriented sectors as it would be more cost-effective than getting new ones from abroad, he said.

"Any foreign worker who has worked here for three years and has no criminal record may be redeployed to other sectors," said Datuk Tajol Rosli.

He said that the presence of almost two million foreign workers was caused by employers who only wanted to offer low salaries as well as local workers who were too choosy.

"Back then, Malaysian workers only wanted highly-paid jobs but with the economic downturn this may not be possible," he said.

He said during times like this, the government could not afford to be generous to others.

He said that employers would have to pay the costs of deporting illegal workers.

Only 1.2 million of the foreign workers are registered with the Immigration Department. Most of the illegal workers are Indonesians, officials have said.

About 9,000 Indonesian illegal immigrants were repatriated last year with the cooperation of the Indonesian authorities.

Datuk Tajol Rosli also said that the authorities would no longer carry out checks on foreigners on the streets but would instead concentrate on raids on factories and estates.

"This is because no employer will take responsibility for illegal workers caught on the streets," he said.

During the last decade of uninterrupted economic growth, Malaysia came to depend heavily on foreign workers to perform many of the low-paid jobs shunned by locals.

But Malaysia stopped recruiting all foreign workers last August, and with companies retrenching, locals are expected to begin competing with the foreigners for jobs in sectors such as hotels and heavy industry.

Copyright 1997 Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. All rights reserved.

Best Regards,
Lynn August Linse, linsela@robustdc.com
Robust DataComm Pte Ltd, 221 Henderson Road #04-10
Singapore 159557, Ph(65)272-2340 Fx(65)272-0582

[World History Archives]    [Gateway to World History]    [Images from World History]    [Hartford Web Publishing]