Foreign worker freeze remains, says human resources ministry

The freeze in employing new foreign workers has resulted in locals getting more jobs in places like the Selayang Market in Kuala Lumpur.

PETALING JAYA: The human resources ministry has clarified that the freeze on new foreign worker hires will remain until the end of the year.

“The government’s policy with regard to the freeze on foreign worker intakes until the end of the year still remains due to the Covid-19 pandemic and its impact on the local job market,” it said in a statement.

“The government will consider applications to allow employers (to hire foreign workers), especially in sectors that require a high number of foreign workers such as construction, plantations and agriculture, once the freeze ends.”

Answering a question in the Dewan Rakyat today, Deputy Human Resources Minister Awang Hashim said the government had given permission for employers in the construction, plantations and agriculture sectors to hire foreign workers.

Awang was responding to a question from Lubok Antu MP Jugah Muyang, who asked about the initiatives the government has taken to reduce the number of foreign workers in Malaysia.

There are currently more than two million foreign workers registered with the human resources ministry.

Human Resources Minister M Saravanan last month announced that there will be no new intakes of foreign workers in all sectors until the year-end as locals will be given priority to fill up vacancies.