TAPAH: The Human Resources Ministry will introduce an identity card by sector to address the problem of foreign workers who switch to other sectors.
Minister Datuk Seri M. Saravanan said the high demand in the plantation sector, following the increase in oil palm prices, had compelled plantation owners to be willing to pay more, resulting in workers switching sectors.
He said this after officiating the Perak Jaminkerja Keluarga Malaysia Career Carnival at the Tapah Youth and Sports Complex here today.
He said the introduction of the identity card system according to sector would also ensure that no employer misused employee registration.
"Another problem I see is that the levy rate for the agricultural sector is cheaper. So many employers, even those in different sectors, bring in foreign workers through the agricultural channel because it is cheaper.
"By introducing the identity card system according to sector, we can address this issue and it will also facilitate enforcement by the authorities, especially the Immigration Department and police."
On Friday, Senior Works Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof said the increase in palm oil prices in the plantation sector had attracted workers from other sectors, and this had affected the construction sector.
Fadillah said the labour shortage in the construction sector had led to projects being delayed, including the Pan-Borneo Highway.
Saravanan said he was confident that delays in the entry of foreign workers would be resolved by the end of this month.
He asked employers to be patient while waiting for the time-consuming process of hiring foreign workers.
"I am worried that many do not understand the process of hiring foreign workers.
"After the reopening of the borders on April 1, only then could employers start applying for foreign workers."
At the carnival that was held for two days starting yesterday, he said 8,615 vacancies were offered and 374 people had been interviewed up to yesterday afternoon.
"Of that number, 53 got jobs and 140 advanced to the second round of interviews. There are 32 employers at the carnival." — BERNAMA