Saturday, March 27, 2010

Indian traders’ proposal to curb worker shortage

PUTRAJAYA: Indian trade associations, whose members are said to be facing a “dire shortage” of workers, are proposing that the Government allow its members to hire foreign workers through them.

Under the proposal, a member would not apply directly for foreign workers and only associations affiliated to the Malaysian Associated Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Maicci) could do so. This was to curb illegal employment.

Its president Datuk K.K. Eswaran said the matter was raised during the chamber’s hour-long meeting with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

“Our promise to the Prime Minister is that if our proposal is accepted, we guarantee that businesses run by members of Indian trade associations will not hire a single illegal foreign worker,” he told reporters on Thursday night.

Eswaran said Najib had responded positively to the proposal and would raise the matter in Cabinet.

Apart from preventing Indian traders and businessmen from hiring workers illegally, he said the proposal would also help protect foreign workers from being exploited and cheated.

Besides the state chambers of commerce, 15 trade associations are affiliated to Maicci, including those representing textile shopowners, news vendors, millers, jewellers, scrap metal dealers, barbers and also restaurant operators.

Eswaran said they had also discussed with Najib about licensing, contracts and representation on the boards of government-linked companies. - The Star

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