Lift foreign worker ban, say Indian Muslims

A cook prepares Nasi Kandar, a popular northern Malaysian dish, at a restaurant in Penang. (Bernama pic)

PETALING JAYA: Indian Muslims in Penang hope the federal government will lift a ban on foreign workers being employed in the food and beverage business and at jewellery shops operated by the community.

The deputy president of Gabungan Persatuan Indian Muslim Pulau Pinang, Munower Sadiq, said the government enforced a no-foreign worker policy two years ago, in order to offer and reserve more job opportunities for locals.

“We found out that not many locals are willing to work as low rank workers in these sectors and we are currently faced with a shortage of workers to operate our businesses,” he said. “Many of our businesses had to be closed due to a shortage of workers and we hope the federal government will review their policy so that it would not affect business.

Munower, who is also Young Muslims Sports Club president, spoke to Bernama after a closed-door meeting between community leaders and P Waytha Moorthy, the minister in the Prime Minister’s Department responsible for national unity.

Waytha Moorthy said the government would ensure that the rights of the Indian Muslim community would be taken care of and their voice heard at the federal level, Bernama reported.

“I was told that Penang has over 200,000 Indian Muslims and I am here to listen and help on the issues faced by this community. If the problem is related to other ministries, I will try to arrange meetings with that particular ministry so that the problem will be able to be resolved,” he said.