Foreign Worker Entry Limit Expected to Reach Before Year End

Foreign Worker Entry Limit Expected to Reach Before Year End

PUTRAJAYA: Minister of Home Affairs, Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail, stated that the projected limit on the entry of foreign workers, which is not more than 15 percent of the country’s workforce, as stipulated by the Ministry of Economy, is expected to be reached before 31 December this year.

He announced that until now, 17.1 million out of Malaysia’s 34 million population are considered as usable labor force. “Therefore, the 15 percent limit set by the Ministry of Economy means that the overall number of foreign workers in this country cannot exceed that limit. “…and we believe that the limit set by the ministry will be reached by the end of this year,” he told the media after attending a committee meeting with Minister of Human Resources, Steven Sim Chee Keong, here today.

Saifuddin Nasution also stated that the projection takes into account the existing number of foreign workers, foreign workers whose employers have obtained quota approvals, and the number that have registered through the Labor Force Recalibration program.

He also stated that today’s meeting agreed to maintain the freeze on the entry of foreign workers. Also present at today’s meeting, he said, was the approval to allow the first-time employment of foreign skippers aged over 60 starting this year.

This is due to the extensive experience possessed by skippers in the fishing sector, which contributes up to RM16.5 billion in catch annually. “We allow the employment of these 60-year-old skippers, with a period not exceeding 36 months, because temporary work visits are every six months. During the monsoon season, they (skippers) do not go out to sea,” he said.

Saifuddin Nasution explained that until now, the number of skippers allowed for employment is 332 individuals, with a maximum period of three years. “(After that), we will review and request the ministry to formulate separation policies and use the latest technology to support the sustainability of the country’s fishing industry,” he said.

Meanwhile, Sim stated that the Ministry of Human Resources supports the decision of the joint committee meeting to extend the freeze on the quota for the entry of foreign workers. Previously, he confirmed that the government would maintain the decision to freeze approvals for new foreign worker quotas, following the increase in the number of foreign workers in the country, which is almost reaching the target set in the Twelfth Malaysia Plan (12MP). According to Sim, the number of foreign workers working in the country is 2,171,798 individuals based on records from the Malaysian Immigration Department until 15 March.


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