KUALA LUMPUR (Aug 5): The government has assured that the fate of Malaysians workers who lost their jobs in Singapore due to the Covid-19 pandemic will be given due attention, said Human Resource Minister Datuk Seri M Saravanan (pictured).
The minister said he had held a meeting with the republic's Ministry of Manpower to seek an amicable solution to the issue faced by Malaysian workers in that country.
“The government is always concerned about the fate of Malaysians working in other countries. Not only in Singapore as we are in a health crisis (Covid-19). We (the government) will take a positive step towards addressing the issue.
“They can return to Malaysia and undergo the Covid-19 screening test. The government will find the best way to provide employment opportunities to them," he during the question-and-answer session at the Dewan Rakyat here today.
He was replying to a question from P Prabakaran (PH-Batu) on the government's efforts to help Malaysian workers who lost their jobs in Singapore due to the economic downturn caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
On the government's efforts to reduce the country's dependence on foreign workers who dominate the manufacturing and construction sectors, Saravanan said the government had frozen recruitment of the group in all sectors to give priority to locals, especially the youth to secure jobs.
He said in the six months period since Malaysia was first hit by the Covid-19 pandemic, the country managed to reduce its dependence on foreign workers in which statistics showed that the number of foreign workers dropped from 1.98 million in January to 1.54 million in May this year.
“This shows that the government is committed and concerned. We will give locals the opportunity to fill the available vacancies," he said when responding to a supplementary question from Datuk Seri Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim (BN-Baling) on the matter.
Elaborating, Saravanan said the Workers’ Minimum Standards of Housing and Amenities Act 1990 (Act 446) Amendment 2019 which now encompasses the housing and accommodation aspects of workers in all employment sectors will attract locals to join the sector that is usually dominated by foreigners.
He added that the Cabinet Special Committee chaired by Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob also played a role in formulating strategic measures in protecting Malaysia's economic performance and the job market affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
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