Monday, February 15, 2016

Stop being addicted to cheap, unskilled labour, Putrajaya told

Malaysia must refrain from taking the easy way out by increasing foreign workers, and come up with a human resource masterplan to reduce the "addiction" to cheap unskilled labour, Centre for a Better Tomorrow said. The group's co-president, Gan Ping Sieu, said it was time that authorities dealt with the problem in light of the economic model Malaysian had envisaged to achieve and did what was best suited in the interest of the nation. He said the Home Ministry needed to set the record straight on why the country required 1.5 million Bangladeshi workers and which sectors needed them. The lack of clarity, he said, had been raising suspicion. "At present, the government has not been forthcoming about how it arrived at the 1.5 million figure, which sectors these workers will be deployed in, and why Bangladeshi workers are favoured over others. "The absence of such explanations naturally arouses public suspicion and uneasiness. "Providing the statistics on how many workers each sector needs could help to put our human resource issue in the right context and perspective, thus enabling a rational and healthy debate over related issues," he said in a statement today. Gan said an explanation would help justify the government's foreign labour policy and it was a practice of good governance to clear the air. He said the current working population was at around 13 million Malaysians, and with 1.5 million added to the existing estimated five million-strong foreign workers now, Malaysia would have a 2:1 ratio for local to foreign workers in the workforce. "Is this a ratio our nation is comfortable with? The government also needs to factor in costs like subsidies on food and transport which an increased pool of foreign workers would be able to enjoy, but to be borne by taxpayers." Gan said the group was not against bringing in foreign labour to handle jobs often regarded by locals as dirty, dangerous and difficult, but the country needed a human resource masterplan to reduce its "addiction to cheap unskilled labour". "They could be in the form of increasing productivity, promoting automation, changing our ways of life or encouraging those who are retired or having spare time to go back to full or part-time employments. "Our quest to become a high-income nation should not be done through cheap foreign labour, which is not sustainable in the long-run." The government's move to bring in 1.5 million Bangladeshi workers over the next three years had drawn much criticism. Recently, Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi issued a challenge to youths to take up "dirty, difficult and dangerous" jobs in sectors currently dominated by foreign workers, as the debate continued on the need to bring in the foreign labour. – February 16, 2016.]]>

No comments:

Post a Comment