Foreign workers not a long-term solution, says minister

KUALA LUMPUR: The employment of foreign workers should not be seen as a long-term solution for local companies, the Dewan Rakyat was told today.

Human Resources Minister Steven Sim said a foreign worker can only be employed for a maximum of 13 years and this provided enough time for employers to upscale and upskill local talents.

Sim said this in response to Lim Guan Eng (PH-Bagan) who enquired whether the government has any plans to review the period of foreign employment in the country.

In 2018, the government agreed to extend the work permits for skilled foreigners who have been working here for more than 10 years, for up to three years.

Meanwhile, Sim said the freeze on foreign workers' quota will remain as the number of foreign workers in the country has almost reached the limit set under the 12th Malaysia Plan.

He added that any new quotas will only be considered after taking into account that the number of foreign workers does not exceed 15 per cent of the country's workforce by 2025.

"Meanwhile, the government is still in the process of finalising the screening for illegal immigrants through the Labor Recalibration Programme (RTK) 2.0 under the supervision of the Home Ministry.

"Hence, any decision regarding the increase of foreign worker quotas will be determined after the government receives comprehensive information regarding the number of foreign worker quotas that have not yet entered the country before or by May 31, 2024," he said, adding that the government will also take into account the outcome of RTK 2.0 which will conclude in June 2024.

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