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FMM In The News: BERNAMA, KUALA LUMPUR, April 11, 2023 - The freezing of foreign workers’ applications would affect the country’s productivity and gross domestic products, the Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM) president Tan Sri Soh Thian Lai said.

He said the sudden decision by the government to stop all applications and approvals for foreign worker quotas from March 18 would deprive companies orderbook fulfilment, especially for export markets.

“The government cannot make a flip-flop decision and make a sudden freeze on any government policy because this will affect the recruitment process, especially to the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) that are now starting to have better operation or sales,” he told reporters after the launching ceremony of Skill for Prosperity Programme in Malaysia (SfP-Malaysia) here today.

He said following his recent meeting with ministers, the government’s concern in making the freezing decision was based on those quotas that have been approved but not utilised by employers within 30 days.

“Those who paid out the quota and pay out the foreign workers’ levy, they are given 18 months...So, in these 18 months, the government cannot cancel the quota but cancel those quotas (by companies) who did not pay the levy.

“Therefore, we are seeking that the government should be based on case to case for any application to cater for their changing production needs,” he said.

He said some new investors would also have to start applying for their quotas as they would still require some level of low-skilled manpower for certain processes to begin operations.

He added that during the Movement Control Order, close to 1.5 million foreign workers were deported back to the source country while at the moment, based on the statistics, there are about 1.2-1.3 million foreign workers in Malaysia.


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