Recruitment in these three sub-sectors – barbers, textiles, and goldsmiths – will start with a quota of 7,500 foreign workers.
Malaysia's government is now allowing employers in three sub-sectors – barbers, textiles, and goldsmiths – to recruit foreign workers, with a quota of 7,500 in place.
In a statement announcing this on Friday (8 September 2023), Human Resources Minister V. Sivakumar said recruitment in these sub-sectors had previously been frozen since 2009, noting that the reopening is "not comprehensive" and will be based on the actual needs of these sub-sectors.
"This step will also stop the tendency of employers to employ foreign nationals without valid employment documents," he added. "We are aware that this tendency has great potential for exploitation and forced labour practices."
Minister Sivakumar shared that the Ministry of Human Resources, together with the Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Cost of Living, have worked on refining is needed for the purpose of implementing this process, seeing that the Government has currently stopped the application and approval of foreign worker quotas.
Therefore, the mechanism developed would emphasise the following things:
- Applications are subject to quota details set according to the three sub-sectors;
- The Ministry of Domestic Trade and Cost of Living, as a regulatory agency, needs to coordinate the above quota details with the industry for the purpose of applying for foreign workers based on the mechanism that will be set:
- Foreign worker applications will follow existing procedures in terms of employer screening under Section 60K of the Employment Act 1955, and verification for quota approval, including through an interview process with the Regulatory Agency (i.e., the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Cost of Living).