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 Malaysia: Malaysia To Stop Using Foreign Workers, Says Minister

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singaporehunter

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Registration date : 2008-01-28

PostSubject: Malaysia: Malaysia To Stop Using Foreign Workers, Says Minister   Wed Apr 16, 2008 9:59 pm

KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA: Malaysia wants to completely stop using foreign workers, whose numbers have reached nearly 3 million, many of whom are in the country illegally, a news report said Wednesday (16 Apr).

The Star daily quoted Home Minister Syed Hamid Albar as saying he will seek the cooperation of the Human Resources Ministry and employers to reduce their numbers.

"We want to see the demand for foreigners totally scrapped, that is our aim," Syed Hamid was quoted as saying. "We need cooperation from those who are seeking workers."

He said a "collective and planned effort" from all parties is required to ensure that "we depend on our own citizens" to fill jobs.

Syed Hamid's office could not be immediately reached to confirm the report.

He did not say how the government hopes to persuade Malaysians _ who have no dearth of jobs _ to do low-paying menial work for which employers depend on Indonesians, Nepalese, Bangladeshis, Myanmarese and Indians. Many of them are employed as plantation workers, cleaners, waiters, maids, gas station attendants and gardeners.

Earlier this year, the government said it would send home up to 200,000 legal foreign workers by 2009, and announced a decision to ban foreigners from working in front line jobs at airports and hotels. The ban is yet to be enforced.

The government says it wants to apply stricter standards for the hiring of foreign labor in order to reduce their number to 1.8 million next year and to 1.5 million by 2015. Syed Hamid did not say when he hopes to achieve the target of zero reliance on foreign workers.

Malaysia estimates there are 500,000 to 700,000 illegal immigrants in the country in addition to more than 2 million legal foreign workers. The country's total work force is about 11 million
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