KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 2 — The government is still studying the number of foreign workers who will be allowed to enter the country for the sectors permitted to employ the workers, the Dewan Rakyat was told today.
Home Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin said the ministry and other relevant agencies were conducting a detailed analysis on the matter.
“This is to ensure that the government has a strategic direction in achieving a balance between economy and health while the country is still fighting the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.
Hamzah was replying to a question from Steven Choong Shiau Yoon (Independent-Tebrau) on the sectors allowed to take new foreign workers and the number of foreign workers allowed for each sector.
He said the Special Committee on COVID-19 Pandemic chaired by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob on Oct 22 agreed with the proposed standard operating procedure (SOP) for the entry of foreign workers into Malaysia for all permitted sectors, with plantation being the first sector to be approved.
Hamzah said the government had previously agreed to allow the entry of 32,000 foreign workers with special exemptions to meet the manpower needs of the plantation sector, especially oil palm.
Meanwhile, he said 212,926 foreigners and 11,751 employers applied to participate in the Labour Recalibration Programme which will be implemented until Dec 31.
Replying to a supplementary question from M. Kulasegaran (PH-Ipoh Barat), Hamzah denied that there were any problems with the system used for the recalibration programme.