KUALA LUMPUR, 17 March 2009: The recruitment of foreign workers declined by 60,000 in the nine months between March to December last year, Dewan Rakyat was told today.
Home Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar said the number of foreign workers that stood at 2.12mil in March declined to 2.06mil by December 2008.
“With the freeze on sub-sectors like manufacturing and services due to the economic downturn, the ministry expects the number to be reduced to 1.8mil by 2010,” he said in reply to a question by Datuk Mohd Nasir Ibrahim Fikri (BN-Kuala Nerus).
Mohd Nasir wanted to know government action to address the influx of foreign workers into the country due to overzealous employers who exceeded their quota.
Syed Hamid said the government has been trying to overcome the industry’s dependence on foreign labour since 2007.
“The government has taken steps like freezing the recruitment of workers from Bangladesh, tightening of approval at one-stop centres and conducting regular joint enforcement with the Immigration and Manpower Departments and related agencies.”
Syed Hamid said the question of employers exceeding their quota did not arise as approval was only given to those who met the conditions, including the quota on foreign workers.
He stressed that Immigration would take stern against employers who hired illegal foreign workers. — Bernama