Free Malaysia Today
May 12, 2016
PETALING JAYA: The government’s move to allow the hiring of foreign workers in four sectors is a sign of its “flip-flop policies”, says local economist Ramon Navaratnam.
The chairman of the Asli Center for Public Policy Studies said that although it was a sensible and pragmatic move, opening the manufacturing, construction, plantation and furniture-making industries to the foreign workers should have been done earlier.
“All the uncertainty, inconvenience and pain suffered by both employers and employees, and even the foreign workers could have been saved if only there was more thoughtful planning,” said Ramon in a statement today.
Ramon urged the government to adopt standard operating procedures to consult all its stakeholders before implementing major policies in the future.
“Why does the government adopt ad-hoc policies and then chop and change them? This gives the impression that our government is not clear of what it wants to do and where it wants to go.”
Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai was today reported as saying that the government had chosen to do so in light of the current “acute shortage” reported.
A survey by the Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM) showed such a shortage was faced by 84% of manufacturers.
“In view of the acute shortage, we have to lift the suspension to allow these sectors to bring in foreign workers,” he said, adding that the Cabinet was, however, looking to improve the system for hiring foreign workers.
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