Ministry of HR to introduce a sectoral-based identity card system

This, according to Minister Saravanan, is to curb foreign workers from switching sectors "arbitrarily", and affecting other sectors in the process.

Malaysia's Ministry of Human Resources is looking to implement a sectoral-based identity card system to better manage foreign workers, according to Minister of Human Resources M. Saravanan. Cited in Bernama's report, the Minister rationalised that this move is to curb foreign workers from switching sectors "arbitrarily".

Using one instance, Minister Saravanan, while officiating the Perak Jaminkerja Keluarga Malaysia Career Carnival 2022, explained that due to the increase in oil palm prices, there is a "high demand" for workers in the plantation sector. As such, plantation owners are "willing to pay more" in terms of remuneration — resulting in more foreign workers "arbitraily" switching to the sector.

Such circumstances, according to his Cabinet colleague Senior Minister of Works Fadillah Yusof, have to be avoided as they are "affecting" the construction sector.

On top of manpower management, the Minister added that the system would "also ensure no employer has misused employee registrations". This is because he understands that the employers' levy rate for the agricultural sector is "cheaper" than those in different sectors, making employing foreign workers through the agricultural channel "cheaper".

"By introducing the identity card system according to the sector, we can address this issue, and it will also facilitate the enforcement of the authorities, especially the Immigration Department, and the Royal Malaysia Police," Minister Saravanan said.

In a similar vein, on the topic of foreign workers in Malaysia, Minister Fadillah, during the Sarawak FTRoadpedia Tour, revealed that the government has "approved" some 14,000 applications to recruit foreign construction workers. However, the response from the foreign workers themselves has been "quite slow". 

The Ministry of Human Resources had also signed agreements with Bangladesh, and Indonesia to bring in their citizens to work in Malaysia, but the government is still waiting for the job offers to be taken up, he said in Bernama's report.

With regard to why this is happening, particularly for those from Indonesia, Minister Fadillah suggests there could be more employment opportunities in their home country, given the development programmes Indonesia has in the pipeline.

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Separately, Minister Saravanan announced during the abovementioned carnival that Malaysia's PenjanaKerjaya initiative has, to date, provided 221,966 Malaysians with employment opportunities. This number has "exceeded" the initiative's target of 200,000 individuals since last year, as cited in Xclusif's report.

"As of 30 April 2022, there is a total of 66,051 job seekers who have successfully obtained employment through JaminKerja, an employment incentive programme under the government. Of this number, 3.41%, or a total of 2,252 individuals are job seekers from the state of Perak," the Minister said, using one Malaysian state as an example.

“As of 6 May 2022, the job placements that have been successfully implemented by the Social Security Organisation, including through MYFutureJobs, have reached a total of 66,583 individuals. Of this total, a total of 2,504 individuals are in Perak."

Minister Saravanan added that the Government has the intention to provide 600,000 job opportunities this year, and the Ministry will utilise a total of RM2bn that has been allocated to this initiative.

Image / Minister Saravanan's Facebook

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