Let foreign workers switch sectors, says MEF

There is large demand for workers in the agricultural sector but the government has frozen the intake of migrant workers.

KUALA LUMPUR: The requirement for foreign workers to have valid work permits to be re-employed defeats the overall purpose of redeployment, said the Malaysian Employers Federation today.

Its executive director, Shamsuddin Bardan said many foreign workers would be unable to be redeployed based on this requirement as existing employers would only release their workers after their permits expired.

Shamsuddin Bardan

Shamsuddin said that restricting the re-employment of foreign workers to within the same sector would not be an optimal choice as demand varied according to the sectors.

“For example, there is a huge demand in the agricultural and plantation sectors where employers are retaining all their foreign workers. As there is currently a freeze on new foreign worker intake, these sectors will only be able to get workers from other sectors,” he said.

He urged the government to allow foreign workers, including those whose work permits had expired but were eligible for renewal, to be re-employed across all industrial sectors.