MTUC Sarawak lambasts federal govt’s indecisiveness to trim foreign workers

Andrew Lo

By Peter Sibon

KUCHING, April 27: The Malaysian Trade Union Congress (MTUC) Sarawak lambasts the federal government for its indecisiveness in cutting down foreign workers in the country.

MTUC Sarawak Secretary Andrew Lo said it is high time for Malaysia to focus on human resource development for greater industrialisation rather than dwelling on low-paid jobs.

“It is really exasperating to read news that the federal government has yet to decide on whether to trim the country’s dependence on foreign labour and reduce the number of foreign workers in the country.

“What is there to decide? It is glaring and obvious that we have to trim the number of foreign workers, even before MCO (movement control order). To think otherwise is like an ostrich hiding its head in the sand,” Lo said in a statement here today.

Lo held that over the years, the federal government has been creating low value jobs to suit the foreign workers and feed the agents.

“This led to Defence Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob’s statement that Malaysia needs foreign labour because the number of local workers was insufficient to meet the demand of the workforce required.

“Why are we creating industries to employ millions of foreign workers who send back their wages to help the development of their own countries?” he asked.

The federal government’s effort to improve labour productivity through higher value and highly skilled jobs will remain a dream as there is no incentives for employers.

“This will remain a pipe dream as there is no incentive for employers to invest in technology and modern production methods as long as there are abundant cheap and mostly illegal foreign workers. According to small medium enterprises (SMEs), 85 per cent of them are employing illegals foreign workers.

He advised the government to mobilise and restructure the jobs and not the workers or Malaysia is “putting a square peg into a round hole”.

Lo reminded the federal government that the sudden spike of Covid-19 case in Singapore is due to the large number of foreign workers in the republic. — DayakDaily