Rama to Kula: What about those Bangladeshi workers?

Earlier in June, the home ministry announced a review of policies on foreign workers. ( Bernama pic)

GEORGE TOWN: The Human Resources Ministry has been urged to look into policies of the former government, such as plans made in 2016 for an intake of workers from Bangladesh, before instituting new policy changes such as a ban on foreign cooks.

P Ramasamy

Penang’s deputy chief minister II, P Ramasamy, said the ministry should expose past misdeeds of the former government in similar vein as carried out by Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng.

“Since PM Dr Mahathir Mohamad has told Lim Guan Eng to reveal all past misdeeds, Kula should do the same,” he told FMT today, referring to the human resources minister M Kulasegaran.

On Friday, Kulasegaran had said restaurants would be required to employ only Malaysian cooks by Jan 1 to reduce the dependence on foreign labour and to ensure the quality of local food.

Ramasamy said Kulasegaran should go back to the drawing board and devise a comprehensive plan on foreign workers. An ideal policy would reduce dependence on foreign workers while keeping employers happy.

(Earlier this month, home minister Muhyiddin Yassin said he would chair a special committee to look at ways to reduce the number of foreign workers and illegal immigrants. The committee would include representatives of the human resources ministry and enforcement agencies.)

“But before that, we must see what had gone wrong. Why are there so many foreign workers’ permits abused by BN and its cronies?”

He urged Kulasegaran to reveal the details of the previous government’s 2016 plans to import 1.5 million Bangladeshi workers over three years.

A Bangladesh association of recruiting agencies had protested at the time as the plans would result in a monopoly by a “syndicate led by a Malaysian company”.

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