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Freezing approvals for foreign workers will affect productivity, govt told

FMM In The News: FREE MALAYSIA TODAY, KUALA LUMPUR, April 11, 2023 - The freezing of foreign workers’ applications will affect the country’s productivity and gross domestic product, says the Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM).

FMM president Soh Thian Lai said the government’s decision to stop all applications and approvals for foreign worker quotas from March 18 would result in companies not being able to fulfil their order books, 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.

“This is especially for the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) that are now starting to have better operations or sales,” he told reporters at an event here today.

He said the decision was made to allow employers to sort out the arrival of the 995,396 approved workers first.

The temporary suspension also covers those applying for workers under the recalibration scheme to employ undocumented workers.

Sivakumar said the suspension will be reviewed only after employers have ensured the arrival of the approved workers, and urged them to do it as soon as possible.

On March 27, Soh responded to the government’s move by saying that employers who have been given approval to bring in foreign workers cannot bring them in immediately as there are several reasons that hold up this process.

These include a delay in sourcing workers, delays in the issuance of the calling visa by the immigration department, problems mobilising them in source countries, and a slowdown in demand making it less urgent to bring them in.

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