BUTTERWORTH: Human resources minister V Sivakumar has called for legal action against those who bring in foreign workers but fail to provide them with jobs.
“Stern action should be taken and they must be dragged to court,” he told reporters at the Perai industrial estate here. He did not specify if he meant employers or agents.
Sivakumar said the largest affected group of migrants were Bangladeshis, as they were high in demand in Malaysia.
He said many employers were taking on more migrant workers than they could handle.
Before the intake of foreign workers was frozen in March, most firms had requested large numbers of foreign workers, in anticipation that they would only receive half of what was demanded.
When the government began approving the full number requested, companies found themselves with excess labour they did not know how to utilise.
“Then these employers are stuck. They don’t know what to do with the extra workers,” he said.
Progressive wage incentives
Sivakumar also spoke about incentives for companies that adopt the progressive wage system, in which workers are rewarded based on performance and initiative.
He said the minimum wage will remain mandatory for all, while those opting for the progressive model will receive incentives from the government.
Incentives for in-house training
When asked about the emphasis on skills-matching training, he said an academy-in-industry programme will soon be introduced.
He said workers will get to train in-house at commercial companies, with the government to provide RM1,500 in staggered allowances during their 18-month stay at the company on top of their basic salary.
Companies hosting and training them would also receive cash incentives, he said.