Friday 21 Jun 2024
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KUALA LUMPUR(March 26): Any decision on the reopening of the foreign worker quota will be made only after the government obtains complete information on unused quotas by May 31, says Human Resources Minister Steven Sim.

Additionally, the government will consider the outcomes of the Workforce Recalibration Programme 2.0 (RTK2.0), which concludes on June 30.

Citing the Immigration Department’s records, Sim mentioned that there are approximately 2.17 million foreign workers in the country.

"At the moment, the government is maintaining the freeze on new quotas for foreign workers as the number of migrant workers has almost reached the target outlined in the 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP), which aims to keep them below 15% of the total workforce by 2025," Sim told the Dewan Rakyat on Tuesday.

Sim said that based on findings from regulatory agencies by sector, the estimated workforce required is 308,570.

"Thus, the consideration for new quotas will depend on the remaining balance from the projected 15% of the workforce, after updating details on the active ones and upon the conclusion of the RTK2.0 programme," Sim added.

He said that any unused quota will prioritise critical sectors requiring manpower and those capable of generating a high impact on the country’s economy.

The RTK2.0 Programme, initiated by the government, serves as a targeted employment strategy to address the demand for foreign workers.

It aims to regularise illegal immigrants as legally employed foreign workers under qualified employers, subject to stringent conditions determined by the government through collaboration between the Malaysian Immigration Department and the Ministry of Home Affairs. Qualified employers include those in sectors such as manufacturing, construction, agriculture, plantation, mining and quarrying, and security.

Meanwhile, the government has advanced the deadline for the entry of foreign workers to May 31, shifting it from the previous deadline of September 2024. Additionally, any unused foreign worker quotas will be cancelled by March 31.

On a separate note, Sim mentioned that a joint committee between the Ministry of Human Resources and Home Ministry decided on Jan 16 to implement a more systematic and less bureaucratic recruitment process, including reducing the recruitment process of foreign workers from 29 months to 15 months.

“This new policy will commence once the government lifts the freeze on the new quota,” he said.

Edited ByEsther Lee
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