The government has agreed to reintroduce the labour recalibration programme and create a more relaxed plan for the employment of foreign workers as part of measures to fulfil the demand for foreign workers in the country.
The two programmes were among the matters agreed on in the special foreign worker management meeting chaired by Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim in Putrajaya today.
Home Minister Saifuddin Nasution Ismail said the labour recalibration programme which ended on Dec 31 last year would be continued for a year effective immediately.
"The programme has been extended as it can offer jobs to foreign workers already in the country.
"We impose compounds on foreign workers who participate in the recalibration programme. Last year, we received over RM700 million in revenue through this programme," he said at a media conference after the meeting with Human Resources Minister V Sivakumar.
The recalibration programme was created to legalise undocumented migrants currently in the country to allow their employment by qualified employers, subject to the conditions set by the government through the immigration department and the Labour Department of Peninsular Malaysia.
On the new foreign worker hiring programme, Saifuddin said employers would be allowed to hire foreign workers from 15 source countries without needing to go through pre-requisite hiring and quota qualifications.
He said he would head a series of visits together with the human resources ministry and supervising agencies to the 15 source countries to discuss safety and welfare issues for the workers.
Adding that this would be a temporary measure to meet Malaysia's economic development needs, he said detailed information on the plan would be announced soon.