Malaysia needs foreign workers to meet shortage of manpower

11-Jan-2018 Intellasia | New Straits Times | 6:00 AM Print This Post

Malaysia still needs to outsource workers from other countries to meet the shortage of manpower in the construction and plantation sectors.

Human Resources minister Datuk Seri Richard Riot Jaem said checks showed about 80 per cent of the workforce in “giant” development and infrastructure projects in West Malaysia were made up of foreign workers.

“Previously, there were quarters suggesting that we do not need foreign workers at all.

“If we do not bring in foreign workers (to fill in vacancies), a lot of development projects will be left at a standstill.

“Most of the giant projects in West Malaysia depend on manpower mostly comprising of foreign workers,” Riot, who is also the Serian member of parliament, said after attending a seminar entitled “Palm Oil: Opportunities and Future Challenges” here today.

In Sarawak, the state government has been incurring losses of RM1 billion annually in the palm oil industry since 2012 due to uncollected fresh fruit bunches (FFBs) arising from shortage in the number of harvesters.

This problem persisted since the industry relies on workforce from Indonesia to harvest FFBs.

“Now, we are facing a shortage as Indonesia has opened up many oil palm plantations that offer good salary.

“We are now looking to Cambodia to meet the shortage in workforce the palm oil industry.

“I am expected to fly to Cambodia in the middle of this month to find a solution to this problem,” he said, adding that Sarawak was short of 30,000 harvesters.

Sarawak has about 1.4 million hectares of oil palm plantation, offering jobs to 103,095 workers in 2015.

Riot reiterated that the number of foreign workers in the country had dropped from 2.1 million to 1.7 million in the last three years.

“Indonesia is the top source country for foreign labours since the republic is near Malaysia.

“Nepal is the second biggest source country, followed by Bangladesh,” he said.


Category: Malaysia

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