The decision to freeze all recruitment of foreign workers does not affect the validity of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed with the Bangladesh government, says Richard Riot, The Star reports. “Further details on the decision to freeze foreign worker recruitment will be announced by the government,” the human resources minister said in a two-paragraph statement today.
However, Riot said the ministry welcomed the “positive” decision, as it clearly reflected the government’s priority of providing employment opportunities to local workers. On Friday, the government suspended the recruitment of all foreign workers, including those from Bangladesh, pending a review of the levy and rehiring programme.
The move comes just a day after Malaysia inked a deal with Bangladesh to bring in its workers here over the next three years. Announcing the decision, Deputy Prime Minister Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said the suspension would enable the government to reconsider the revised two-tier levy for foreign workers.
His announcement came amid uproar from several civil and trade groups, who urged the government to legalise the existing migrants instead. Zahid had previously justified the government’s move to bring in Bangladeshi workers, whom he said were here to the 3D jobs (dirty, difficult and dangerous), which locals preferred not to do.