Malaysia wants local workers to fill jobs gap
In the face of the continued challenges faced by the Malaysian workforce because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the country’s reliance on foreign workers has continued to wane, reported Datuk Seri M. Saravanan.
From January to May this year, the number of foreign workers in Malaysia dropped from 1.98 to 1.54 million. “The government is committed… [and] we will give locals the opportunity to fill the available vacancies,” said Saravanan.
He also assured that help will be rendered to Malaysian workers who have lost their jobs in Singapore because of the pandemic.
“They can return to Malaysia and undergo the COVID-19 screening test. The government will find the best way to provide employment opportunities to them.”
In sectors such as manufacturing and construction, which has traditionally been heavily dependent on foreign workers, Saravanan said Malaysia has frozen recruitment of foreign workers in order to give priority to local, especially youths, to secure jobs.
Last month, the minister also announced that a total of 64,495 workers across different sectors in Malaysia have lost their jobs since early this year. The country’s unemployment rate rose to 5.3% in May, the highest figure recorded since 1989, when it hit 5.7%, according to the country’s Statistics Department.