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1,120 foreign workers brought into Malaysia but left jobless, says home minister

Saifuddin Nasution Ismail says this is an issue of foreign labour dumping.

1 minute read
Foreign workers stop for a bite at a construction site in Kuala Lumpur.
Foreign workers stop for a bite at a construction site in Kuala Lumpur.

A total of 1,120 foreign workers who entered the country under the Foreign Worker Employment Relaxation Plan have been classified as unemployed, says Home Minister Saifuddin Nasution Ismail.  

Describing it as a foreign labour dumping issue, he said most of the affected workers were from Bangladesh and had been brought in to work in the cleaning and washing industry.

He said the foreign recruitment agencies or employers involved in bringing in the workers had been identified and action would be taken against them, including the blacklisting of their companies.

Speaking to reporters after chairing a committee meeting on the management of foreign workers, Saifuddin said the government would take initiatives to place foreign workers with new employers who would ensure their welfare.

He said more than 400,000 foreign workers had been brought into Malaysia through the recalibration programme and about 100,000 more foreign workers were still needed to fill jobs in five critical sectors: construction, manufacturing, services, plantations and agriculture.

Meanwhile, he said the human resources ministry had tracked down employers or foreign recruitment agencies that applied for quotas for foreign workers through the plan but still advertised vacancies, especially on social media.

He said this would contribute to the dumping of foreign labour in the country and affect Malaysia's position in the US State Department's annual report on human trafficking.