PUTRAJAYA: The government will review its agreements with 15 source countries on the recruitment of foreign workers to ensure better distribution of manpower in certain sectors, says home minister Saifuddin Nasution Ismail.
“We seem to have enough foreign workers for every sector except plantation, hence the need to revisit the Memoranda of Understanding,” he said at a press conference here.
Saifuddin said the MoUs touch on the fees, costs, contract agreements and healthcare, among others.
“An MoU is a dynamic, not a static, contract. We (the ministry) have agreed to revisit the details with the source countries.”
Saifuddin said his ministry would engage with the 15 countries once he received the nod from the Cabinet.
Malaysia currently takes in foreign workers from Thailand, Cambodia, Nepal, Myanmar, Laos, Vietnam, the Philippines, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, India, and Indonesia.
Currently, Bangladeshis, Indonesians and Nepalese make up 77% of the foreign labour force.
In March, deputy prime minister Fadillah Yusof said almost 80% of the labour shortage in the plantation industry had been resolved.
Fadillah, who was also the plantation and commodities minister at the time, said the labour shortage, however, remained challenging in certain parts of the country such as Sarawak.
Meanwhile, Saifuddin said the government would allow employers to transfer quotas to overcome shortages in sectors like plantation and agriculture.
“Joint committees formed by various ministries are working to resolve these shortages.”
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