Malaysia to lift temporary freeze on hiring of foreign workers

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Malaysia has agreed to remove its temporary freeze on applications to hire foreign workers with Human Resources Minister M. Saravanan saying yesterday that the suspension will be lifted on Friday.

Even though the temporary freeze had already been decided upon, the new decision, he claimed, was made after taking into account the impacted industries’ demands to lift the temporary restriction.

The ministry had declared on August 5 that from August 15 to August 31 all applications for hiring foreign employees would be temporarily halted.

It had stated in a statement that this was done to allow for a review of the policies governing migrant workers in light of the changes to the Employment Act of 1955 that will take effect on September 1.

“I’ve decided to approve (the industries’ requests), so the freeze has been lifted and we will process the new applications from this Friday.

“We’ve decided that all the earlier applications to hire some 400,000 foreign workers will proceed before the end of this month,” he told reporters after meeting with several business associations at Wisma HRD Corp in Kuala Lumpur.

Saravanan stated that the ministry has formed a special committee with five officials from the human resources ministry and 15 members from the industry to better grasp the issue of foreign workers.

“This committee will be holding discussions whenever necessary to assist the industries in reviving the economy.

“Today, we see that the unemployment rate has started to drop and this is a good thing. Therefore, if we help the industries, we will be able to better overcome the problem,” he added.