Malaysia is set to recruit some 45,000 foreign workers, mostly from India, to overcome massive labour shortages, particularly in the country’s small-scale business sectors.
Human Resources Minister Dr S. Subramaniam, who is of Indian ethnic origin, today said the the government has approved the recruitment of 45,000 foreign workers to meet the demand in 13 small-scale business sectors, which are currently facing manpower shortage.
“They had applied to the prime minister and to my ministry through the Malaysian Associated Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MAICCI) for the government to approve the recruitment of 90,000 foreign workers,” said Subramaniam, who is the Deputy President of the Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC), a major component party of the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) He said the government had now agreed to approve the entry of 45,000 foreign workers into 13 business sectors to meet the initial requirement so that they can continue operating.
Subramaniam said the approval was to ease labour shortage in various sectors, including restaurants, grocery shops and the textile industry which had difficulty in recruiting local workers.
Subramaniam said the government was still in discussions to distribute the 45,000 foreign workers according to the 13 business sectors and a decision was expected to be made within a month.
He said most of the foreign workers were from India.
Ethnic Indians form eight per cent of Malaysia’s population of 27 million people.