Malaysia to study Singaporean foreign labour policies’ mechanisms

Jerry Choong
Human Resource Minister M. Kulasegaran said that the government will meet with its Singaporean counterparts to see if certain mechanisms of their foreign labour management policies can be implemented here. — Picture by Miera Zulyana

KUALA LUMPUR, June 20 — Human Resources Minister M. Kulasegaran today said that the government will meet with its Singaporean counterparts to see if certain mechanisms of their foreign labour management policies can be implemented here.

He said this was necessary since Malaysia is currently facing problems in handling foreign workers.

“Some foreign workers who come here tend to run off once in Malaysia, or otherwise run off to work for other employers (whom they were not contracted to in the first place),” he said during the RM50,000 cheque presentation ceremony by the Malaysian Indian Metal Traders and Recyclers Association (Mimta) for Tabung Harapan.

Kulasegaran said Singapore’s foreign labour management is ‘fantastic’, adding that they seldom face issues with workers running away and that employers have a sufficient labour pool from which to draw workers.

“Currently we don’t have a system that can overcome these issues. So our attaché at the Malaysian high commission in Singapore will continue to discuss with their government,” he said.

Kulasegaran also said he would take Mimta’s appeal for more foreign menial labourers into account, following a plea by Mimta president Datuk Seri P. Krishnamurthi.

“Mimta faces a situation where only 50 per cent of their applications for foreign labour is approved. It has been going on for seven years,

“We will see as to how we can help them, although as it stands there are too many coming into the country now and we do not know the total number of foreign workers here,” he said.

By June 30 last year, the Home Ministry revealed there are approximately 1,781,598 registered foreign workers in Malaysia.