KUALA LUMPUR: The issue of dependence on foreign workers in different sectors of the country’s economy has been rampant, causing the country to be flooded with immigrants.
Therefore, the government needs to find the best initiative to reduce the dependence on foreign workers by offering various incentives to attract locals to join the employment sector that is usually dominated by foreigners.
On Wednesday, the Federal Territories Ministry proposed to offer job opportunities to unemployed youths with a salary of up to RM2,400 a month, at the Kuala Lumpur Wholesale Market or better known as Selayang Wholesale Market, following crackdowns on illegal foreign workers there.
Its minister Tan Sri Annuar Musa said it was also part of the efforts to help young people who were unemployed as a result of the Movement Control Order (MCO).
Associate Professor Dr Norashidah Mohamed Nor of Universiti Putra Malaysia’s Faculty of Economics and Management expressed her agreement with the proposal and said it was timely due to the current economic situation following the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Many are losing their source of income during these critical times and at the same time are facing high cost of living. Therefore, the priority of employment opportunities should be given to the locals,” she said.
According to Malaysian Institute of Economic Research (MIER) deputy director Prof Dr Jamal Othman, the constraints in the supply of foreign labour will increase wages and attract local workers and reduce unemployment.
“We see many locals across the country who are willing to do various jobs at less than RM2,000 a month,” he said, adding that wholesale market plays a very important role in the economy especially in the context of the food supply chain, food security and affordable prices that should be dominated by local workers.
Meanwhile, Malaysian Youth Council (MBM) chief information officer Wan Mohd Husni Abdullah said the MBM viewed the offer as relevant to the current situation.
“We believe that our youths have a wide range of skills that can be practiced in this sector, as long as they are not too picky,” he said. — Bernama