Freeze on foreign worker entry to be maintained in Malaysia: reports

Limit maintained as foreign worker quota to be hit by year-end

Freeze on foreign worker entry to be maintained in Malaysia: reports

Malaysia's freeze on foreign worker entry will remain as the country's intake of foreign workers is expected to hit its limit by the end of the year, according to reports.

The Ministry of Economy previously limited the number of foreign workers in Malaysia to 15% of the total workforce.

"We anticipate reaching this ceiling by the end of this year," said Home Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail as quoted by Bernama.

As a result, the entry of foreign workers in Malaysia will remain frozen, the minister added.

Ismail's forecast covers the existing number of foreign workers, those for whom employers have received quota approvals, and those registered under the Workforce Recalibration Programme, according to the Bernama report

He made the remarks after attending a joint committee meeting with Human Resources Minister Steven Sim Chee Keong on Monday.

Support for hiring freeze

Sim said the Human Resources Ministry also supports the extension of the foreign hiring freeze.

Previously, the human resources minister also said the government will likely maintain the freeze on new quotas for foreign workers as their numbers hit the government's target, The Star reported.

So far, there are 2.17 million foreign workers already at work in Malaysia, according to the Immigration Department.

The government's measures are aligned with the Twelfth Malaysia Plan, which identified the country's dependency on low-skilled foreign workers as an issue.

"Efforts will be undertaken to reduce the dependency on foreign workers and promote greater local participation in the labour market," the plan read.

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