KUALA LUMPUR: The Human Resources Ministry will look into requests by multinational companies (MNCs) for flexibility on the recruitment of foreign workers in view of the shortage of labour in some sectors.
Its minister Datuk Dr Subramaniam said at least 10 companies in several sectors, including electronics, gloves, furniture, plastics and textiles, had approached the ministry to review the foreign labour recruitment policy.
“The ratio of local workers to foreign workers is 2:1 but they want some flexibility.
“The ministry officials will meet with some of them to try to resolve the problem,” he told reporters after opening the 16th Confederation of Asean Journalists’ general assembly here yesterday.
He was commenting on reports that some MNCs were considering relocating following the Government’s policy to reduce the reliance on foreign workers.
It is learnt that most of the companies facing a shortage of production workers are located in Penang, Johor and Selangor.
He said it was not the Government’s intention to enforce laws and practices to restrict the companies from doing business, but locals were not keen to work long hours in a factory for an average salary of between RM500 and RM600 a month.
There are about 2.1 million foreign workers in Malaysia, or about 20% of the total work force.
On former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s view that the country needed to reduce dependency on cheap foreign labour to achieve Vision 2020, he said there should be optimal use of the country’s 12 million workers by improving their skills.
Earlier, Dr Subramaniam said digital media organisations should be more responsible with their online news reporting.
“It is not easy to control the digital media. They should practise self-regulation and only report the truth based on facts,” he said.
Forty-five delegates from journalist associations in seven countries — Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines, Vietnam and Laos — are attending the assembly, which ends on Sunday. - The Star