The Edge Markets has reported that the population of foreign workers in Malaysia has surpassed the Malaysian Indian population last year. It is expected to also surpass the Chinese population by 2034, according to Chua Choon Hwa, undersecretary of the Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development.

Based on data from the Department of Statistics Malaysia and the National Labour Survey 2014, he said that the migrant population has reached 3.1 million against 2.1 million for local Indians. 

At a recent forum organised by the Institute of Strategic and International Studies Malaysia, he commented: “In 2034, the migrant population would have overtaken the number of Chinese by 7.5 million to 7.4 million. According to the projection, migrant population would make up 24.2% of Malaysia's population by 2040.”

"It's (foreign labour issue) definitely something we have to think do we adjust the labour market so that our local workforce would be fully utilised," he added.

According to Chua, only five out of 100 migrants are holding skilled jobs while nine out of 20 migrants are holding labour intensive jobs.

Chua also pointed to female labour participation rate as another area where the country needs to improve. He said: "In 2015, there's about 54.1% of female labour participation and (it) is expected to grow to 59% by 2020.” “There is a need to provide the support for working mothers, which includes childcare centre at workplace, flexible working hours and ease (of) taking leave to care for sick child," he concluded.

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