JAKARTA: Malaysia will explore the possibility of having a Foreign Workers Act to manage foreign workers in the country, totalling four million now.
Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz said with foreign workers' making up more than 10 per cent of the country's population, the management of their affairs could no longer be carried out on an ad hoc basis.
"I personally believe that we need to have the law (Foreign Workers Act). Currently, we tackle issues when they crop up," he said when met here yesterday.
Nazri, who is leading the Malaysian delegation of the Inter-Parliamentary Union, is on a three-day visit here since yesterday.
Earlier, he met the speaker of the Indonesia's People's Consultative Council, at his residence in Menteng, Central Jakarta.
Also in the delegation were deputy Speaker of the Dewan Rakyat, Datuk Ronald Kiandee, and Balik Pulau member of parliament Mohd Yusmadi Mohd Yusoff.
Nazri, who is the minister in-charge of law and parliamentary affairs, said that Malaysia had to deal with not only workers from Indonesia, but also from other countries.
"So we must look at the experience of other countries, like the gulf states where the foreign population is more than the locals."
He said resolving foreign workers' problems, like introducing the regulation on minimum salary, but not involving domestic helpers, was discriminatory.
The regulation should cover all jobs, he added.
Nazri said the proposed formulation of the Foreign Workers Act would be discussed by the Malaysia-Indonesia Parliamentary Caucus, which he believed would also be able to play an effective role in forging closer relations between Malaysian and Indonesian parliamentary members. Bernama