Kuala Lumpur Post



KUALA LUMPUR β€” Β The 3 services sub-sectors were in jubilant 6 months ago when the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim announced to unfreeze the recruitment of foreign workers, involving barbershops, textiles and goldsmiths. About 7,500 quota of foreign workers were allocated by the Cabinet for these services sub sectors after 14 years being left in cold storage.

A month later , the guidelines & requirements of the application process were announced by the former Human Resources Minister YB V Sivakumar who was hailed by the 3 services sub sectors as the victor who played a pivotal role to protect and safeguard the traditional Indian businesses that have been operating for generations in Malaysia.

KLSICCI conducted workshop for the 3 services sub sectors in collaboration with Bestinet( operator of Foreign Workers Central Management System-FWCMS) & the Domestic Trade & Cost of Living Ministry which is the ‘Agensi Kawal Selia’ for these 3 services sub sectors . The workshop was conducted to facilitate and guide the 3 services sub sectors business owners to apply for the foreign workers(new & renewal).

However , to its dismal only 227 new quotas was approved till date from 377 new quotas applied by 117 business owners from 2000 over business owners in these 3 services sub-sectors . On the approved 227 new quotas , only 211 quotas levy was paid . This is merely less than 5% of the 7500 allotted quota .

There were many requirements and guidelines that was seen as being unreasonable , was the main reason that obstructed many business owners in these 3 services sub-sectors from being able to comply and apply for the new foreign workers. Much to the dismay of the 3 sub-sectors, the guidelines specify that the 7,500 quota allocated is inclusive of the existing workers in the immigration system. This actually makes it more difficult for the companies to get the required number of workers for the respective services sub-sectors.

Some guidelines like in textile subsector only allows up to 2 foreign workers for a premise up to 199 square metre (2,152 square feet) which includes existing foreign workers. For premise above 1,000 square meters (10,764 square feet) , foreign workers are only allowed up to 15% of the total local workers . For a fact , this sub sector is totally dependant on foreign workers .

In the barber sub sector , application of foreign workers is not allowed for barbershop formed after 2009. Many aspiring entrepreneur youth that ventured in this services sub sectors were severely impacted after learning through this unwritten guidelines and requirements in the interview process. Such were not utterly mentioned in the guidelines issued by the Human Resources Ministry on 2nd October 2023.

The requirements for the 3 services subsectors to comply up front with Act 446 -Employees Housing , Accommodation & Amenities prior to applying for the foreign workers is seen to be not practical. The 3 services sub sectors were required to spent money to rent & prepare the workers hostel and meet the strict specifications and requirements of the Act 446 , without knowing the number of approved quotas that will be obtained or wether will the application be approved or not .

In view of this serious predicament of the 3 services sub sectors , KLSICCI seek the intervention of the Home Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail to support the lifeline of the 3 services sub sectors .

Earlier today KLSICCI had a fruitful discussion with the Home Minister highlighting the above predicament . The Home Minister has assured KLSICCI that the serious concerns raised will be discussed with the Human Resources Ministry and Domestic Trade & Cost of Living Ministry to revisit & reconsider the set guidelines and requirements for the 3 services sub sectors to ease and facilitate the business owners to apply for the foreign workers smoothly.

KLSICCI thanks Home Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail, for the joint collaborative efforts with the Human Resources Ministry and the Domestic Trade and Cost of Living Ministry in their pivotal roles to ease the issues faced by the business community.

𝑹𝒆𝒑𝒐𝒓𝒕𝒆𝒅 π’ƒπ’š 𝑲𝑳𝑺𝑰π‘ͺπ‘ͺ𝑰 𝑷𝑹 , π‘΄π’†π’…π’Šπ’‚ & π‘©π’“π’‚π’π’…π’Šπ’π’ˆ