Economy minister says Anwar govt’s 2024 focus is to phase out Malaysia’s reliance on foreign workers

Malay Mail
Malay Mail

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 8 — The government will start rolling out policies to reduce foreign worker dependency starting next year, Minister of Economy Rafizi Ramli said today as he revealed plans to shake up a labour market beset by decades of low wage growth.

“That will be the focus of 2024,” he told attendees at the celebration to mark the Anwar administration’s first year anniversary at Bukit Jalil here.

The Economy Ministry has spearheaded several major economic programmes aimed at raising income especially for workers at the bottom 50 per cent of the income bracket, including the planned Progressive Wage Policy slated to begin mid next year.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has made raising living standards a top priority of his coalition government and had announced various major plans he said would drive up the Malaysian economy up the value chain, hoping they would create more high-paying jobs and raise wages.

Among them are the National Industrial Master Plan and the National Energy Transition Roadmap that aims to make Malaysia a major regional green technology player.

Today's event, to be held till Sunday, is meant to inform the public about key policies the Anwar government has unveiled since it took federal power last year.

Rafizi said that most of the major “structural” policies have already been revealed this year and 2024 will see the government look into other sectoral reforms to complement the Anwar government's major economic plans.

“For next year the biggest thing we will focus on is reforming the labour market, especially on a timeline to put all the system in place for us to start phasing down dependency on foreign workers,” he said.

“So to the employers who are listening, it's coming.”