PUTRAJAYA: Strict action will be taken against employers who dismiss Malaysian workers in order to replace them with foreign nationals, human resources minister V Sivakumar said.
He said the rationale behind the government’s relaxation on employment of foreign workers was not to replace locals with foreign workers but rather to meet manpower needs in five critical sectors.
“No excuse will be accepted if the government finds that this has been happening to the extent of local workers losing their source of income,” he said at a media conference here.
Several organisations have claimed that Malaysian workers in critical sectors such as manufacturing, construction, plantation, agriculture and services (restaurants) had been laid off to be replaced by foreign workers.
Measures to relax restrictions on employment of foreign workers were agreed at a government meeting on Jan 10 chaired by Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim in order to meet the demand for migrant workers.
Sivakumar said the government has held discussions with Indonesia regarding the issue of an increase in the cost to hire domestic helpers from that country.
“The government takes note of the matter and efforts have and will be made to ensure the process of bringing in domestic helpers from Indonesia do not involve very high costs,” he said.
Indonesia’s ambassador to Malaysia, Hermono, was recently reported to have said that Indonesia was ready to discuss the matter in the next joint working group meeting.