High demand for foreign workers indication Malaysian businesses doing well: Minister

Resources Minister Datuk Seri M. Saravanan said it was odd for industry players to cite bad business when the demand for foreign workers was high.


April 19, 2022

KUALA LUMPUR – The more than half a million applications for foreign workers recently put in by various industries is indication that businesses in the country are doing well, says Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri M. Saravanan.

He said it was odd for industry players to cite bad business when the demand for foreign workers was high.

“This number is only for the first batch and we still have the second batch. So, this means Malaysia’s economy is doing well.

“When it comes to salary increments, no employer has ever agreed but in time, the salary must still be adjusted,” he said here yesterday.

He was responding to industry players who had asked for the new RM1,500 minimum wage to be enforced in gradual increments.

He had said that as at April 7, there were 519,937 applications for foreign workers.

Saravanan also said that come rain or shine, the government would go through with its implementation of the RM1,500 minimum wage on May 1.

The government, he added, was only giving exemptions to a few industries after certain considerations.

“I understand that there are some companies facing difficulties, especially those in the informal sectors.

“But I have noticed that when I give a few people exemptions, there are others who want it as well.

“In the end, it is the people who do not gain any benefit,” he said.

The increase from the current minimum wage of RM1,200 to RM1,500 was not carried out at random but was based on a review required by the law, he added.

Among those exempted from the RM1,500 minimum wage are farmers, hotels and tourism industry players, as well as companies with fewer than five employees.

Earlier, Saravanan witnessed the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the Social Security Organisation (Socso) and MyQaseh, a non-governmental group that works to prevent and end homelessness.

The MOU is part of a Zero Homeless initiative through Socso’s work placement programme.

It was signed by Socso chief executive officer Datuk Seri Mohammed Azman Aziz Mohammed and MyQaseh Sdn Bhd chief executive officer Trina Thomas Raj.

So far, 100 homeless people had obtained work placements under the initiative, said Saravanan.

“Homelessness is a serious problem. Many of these people left their homes in search of better jobs and ended up on the streets. Through this effort, there is light at the end of the tunnel for them.

“This is an important approach while we reskill and upskill people in the job market. No one should be left behind in the development of the country,” he added.

Socso is offering some 400,000 job opportunities to Malaysians nationwide via MyFutureJobs, part of which could go to the homeless community.

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