Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Foreign Workers: Exaggerated or True Needs?

A friend related an incident where he stopped and parked at a space several other vehicles had parked earlier to attend an appointment. 

He was however, instructed to park elsewhere by a Nepali security guard; armed with lack of local vocabulary and waving sign language, symbolizing ‘NO’ and ‘You can’t park here!” 
Surprisingly, when questioned, the Nepali guard can’t identify the name of the company of which property he is employed to protect and secure. 

What is the motive of such employment? At the peak of 3.5 percent unemployment rate (495,705) compared to 14, 163, 000 Malaysians employed in April 2016; the rise of lay-offs, picky prospective employees and discrimination, foreign employees tops the choices to fill the void. 

Are they truly the descendants of the fearful Gurkha, engaged during the era of the British colonial masters? Or another ploy/excuse upon Malaysians with daunting flashback? 

The experience shared is among many, circulating on the subject of foreign workers nibbling the employment market/occupations in Malaysia. Does their presence brings more good than harm to the growth, social stability and security of the nation per se? 

Security personnel particularly the foreign guards are subjected under the Private Agencies Act 1971, the Immigration Act 1959/1963 and the National Registration Act 1959, whereupon 30, 000 illegal foreign security guards claimed been employed in the nation. 

In a news report on 15 April 2016, Deputy Human Resource minister, Datuk Seri Ismail Abdul Muttalib disclosed since 2014, a total of 592 employers have been prosecuted after 81, 200 checks were conducted on the subject pursued. 

The government had introduced the minimum wage policy in 2014 in line with the National Wages Act considering the cost of living, productivity level and other aspects. A minimum wage of RM1, 000 took to effective from 1st July 2016 is to ensure transformation of the middle-income group to high-income economy by the year 2020. 

A classic example for a Malaysian, earning RM1, 000 will bear food, shelter and utilities, thus affecting him/her from the fruits of labor, whilst a foreign registered worker may earn a percentage lesser wage but provided shelter, transportation, food, medical attention and others by their agents/employers. 
The move however is not perceived well by certain workforce agents or employers especially unscrupulous ones, whom chose to capitalize the hindsight of the enforcement by engaging illegal employees; no levy paid, service tax, Employees Provident Fund (EPF) or care for the welfare of the employees, set forth by the government. Some even do not renew the Temporary Work Visit Passes for Nepalese security guards. 

Let’s not forget the instructions by the former Prime Minister, Tun Abdullah upon the Immigration Department on 15th November 2005 to track down and deport 50, 000 Chinese visitors overstaying their welcome in Malaysia. Down the road, a few years later, another 100, 000 Chinese visitors repeated the crimes of immigration issues. 

The influx of illegal foreign workers can be seen in their monopoly of ‘employment market’ or occupations as identified below:
. Indonesians as maids, factory workers and construction workers.
. Bangladeshi as factory workers and construction workers.
. Indians majority found at Nasi Kandar outlets, security guards and medical practitioners/specialist.
. Chinese women works as Guest Relation Officer aka China doll at Family recreation center.
. Nepalese besides engaged as Security guards, are employed as factory workers or hypermarket/retail stores assistants.
. Vietnamese works as factory workers and wet market hands.
. Filipino runs the hotel and factory workers, too.
. Africans capitalize the scam/black money.
. Siamese concentrated in food.
. Cambodian dwells in the clothing and handicraft.
. Laotians works as contract workers and in agricultural estates.
. Pakistani majors the clothing, carpets and food.
. Uzbeks primarily into the flesh trade market.
. Arabs infamous for the Middle East food and cuisine. 

For a Malaysian…what is left for Malaysian in the employment is purely arithmetic. The Ministry of Home Affairs reported in 2015, there are 2.1 million registered foreign workers, while another more than 3 million are illegal workers, escaping the hands of law with help from individual/s of interest or companies with vested interests. 

Most definitely, a bigger chunk of the foreign workers are not SKILLED or semi-skill to fill the vacancies or so some defended otherwise.