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Foreign labour approval now takes 3 days: Malaysian home minister

The palm oil sector is among those facing a shortage of workers
Staff Correspondent
15 Jan 2023 17:21:49 | Update: 15 Jan 2023 19:10:34
Foreign labour approval now takes 3 days: Malaysian home minister
Malaysian Home Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail — File Photo

Employers applying for foreign workers from 15 countries will be able to get their applications approved within three days, says Malaysian Home Minister Saifuddin Nasution Ismail.

Saifuddin said the Relaxation of Foreign Workers Recruitment Plan, which is limited to seven sectors, was agreed upon by the Cabinet, reports Free Malaysia Today.

“The plan allows employers to hire foreign workers from 15 countries based on the employers’ needs and capabilities without having to go through pre-conditional hiring qualification and quota eligibility,” said Saifuddin at a press conference in Putrajaya on January 10.

He added, “We have to make it easier to approve foreign workers’ entry, and we need to do this immediately. Employers have to file their applications, and we will give approvals within three days under this plan.

“The aim is to spark economic growth, and the government has estimated a 1% increase in gross domestic product (GDP) if we make entry of foreign workers easier and faster to meet the demand in the seven sectors.”

The approved sectors are industrial, construction, plantation, agriculture, services, domestic workers, mining and quarrying.

Meanwhile, the 15 countries are Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Laos, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Vietnam.

Saifuddin added that the government would be sending delegations to these countries to explain the new policy and get their agreement.

Last month, Saifuddin highlighted the labour shortage in various sectors and noted that the deficit in the oil palm plantation sector was more severe than anticipated with 2,00,000 workers required – and not 1,20,000 as initially estimated.