Employment Of Foreign Workers In Malaysia

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Malaysia has always been one of the top countries in Asia Pacific that welcomes immigrants to work in the country long since the early 90s. Immigrants are attracted to work in Malaysia because of its low living cost and numbers of job opportunities apart from being one of the most peaceful country in the world. Immigrant labor is significant in Malaysia’s development as they increase the productivity which will simultaneously boost the growth of economy. Employment of foreign workers will also help Malaysia achieve high income status in the nearest future. Number of foreign workers, both documented and undocumented reported by Labor Force Survey (LFS) increased from 1.8 million in 2013 to 2.2 million in 2016. (Wai 'Rising number of foreign workers in Malaysia - a worrying statistic: The Star columnist' 2016) Malaysia’s migrant population ratio remains higher than most of its regional peers. In 2018, it is estimated that there are 6.7 million of foreign workers in Malaysia. ('Bancian Jumlah Warga Asing Dalam Negara' 2018) This proves that Malaysia has become dependence towards the foreign workers for country’s development. Even though employment of foreign workers benefits the country and provide opportunities, it also comes with challenges.

One of the major causes why Malaysia’s intake of foreign workers keeps on increasing each year is due to more stable and stronger economic growth as a developing country. Unwillingness of locals to accept jobs that are dirty, dangerous and difficult results in higher demands of migrant workers especially in industrial and agricultural sectors. Foreign workers are normally prepared to take on any job given and is hired at a cheaper rate. Cheap labor profits the employer in the overall turnover of the company and this certainly is one great profitable aspect for the employers. Also, employers can use the contacts of foreign workers to expand their business in other countries. Foreign workers can share about the market and demands in their country which can give an inside idea of the industry and its developing stage; Thus, the employers can have ideas on what to invest to generate a great amount of profits in foreign countries. In addition, this provides opportunities for locals to join business ventures in other countries and get help aid in business. Other than that, working with foreign workers help Malaysian to understand other people’s culture. Therefore, locals can see things from different point of view and represent itself in another market better. In Forbes article, it is said that networking is an art of business with so many rewards. It is indeed important to master this skill to open doors for many more businesses by helping others to achieve their goals and at the same time meeting our objectives. All in all, networking has always been proven beneficial not just for business but also for one’s character.

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Malaysia requires more skillful workers to be a developed country by 2020. Employments of foreign workers which includes the skillful ones with higher education contributes to this effort by increasing the overall productivity. High education foreign-born such as scientists and engineers will help fuel Malaysia with innovation and creative invention. Concurrently, provides more job opportunities to the local and open more businesses that can contribute to the growth of economy in Malaysia. The employment of foreign workers will be also be a good influence in the working environment and strengthen the economy. In addition, skillful foreign workers such as architects, engineers, and lecturers is absolutely needed to increase one’s country development as they can share ideas and teach local citizens. For example, back in 1985, imported workers from Japan helped Malaysia produced the very first car called ‘Proton Saga’ by Perusahaan Otomobil Nasional Berhad (PROTON) which is a Malaysian automobile company. Malaysian Prime Minister, Dato' Seri Mahathir Mohamed, coined the idea of national car. (Md. Noor, Idris, and Divendran Vijaya Lingam. “Malaysians Perceptions toward Proton Car.”) This shows how important it is to exchange ideas among workers. Besides that, the expertise of foreign workers in a professional field is guaranteed and able to increase the quality of Malaysia’s productivity. As an example, developed countries such as United States of America have 14 million on average of foreign workers with most of them working in professional field which contributes to new creation of technology. According to figures released by Bureau of Labor Statistics, number of foreign-born workers in the U.S. labor force has reached 27.4 million, or 17.1 percent of the total number of workers. (Garrett, 'Immigrants now make up 17.1 percent of U.S. labor force ', 18)

Although it is undeniably true that foreign workers act as a platform for Malaysia to become one of the top advanced countries in the world, accepting large numbers of foreign workers also have its consequences. One of the challenges faced by this country by allowing high numbers of foreign workers entering Malaysia is the suppress of overall wages. Malaysia’s dependence on low-skilled foreign workers adversely shapes its reputation as a labor intensive and low-cost destination to foreign investors. Increasingly, this affects the type of initial investments that foreign investors propose to bring to Malaysia. They are likely the less complex segments of their production chain, with many seeking to primarily leverage Malaysia’s relative ease of hiring foreign workers and lower labor costs. This results in foreign multinationals relocating lower value-added processes to Malaysia, while moving higher productivity and value-added processes to neighboring economies such as Singapore and PR China. In the end, this self-reinforcing image further locks Malaysia into this low-cost bind that would require significant resources to undo. This also worsens the displacement of local talent migrating to higher-paying employment countries, culminating in a brain-drain for Malaysia.

To prevent low overall wages that can adversely impact the locals and disrupts Malaysia economy chain, certain measures needs to be taken. Some of the resolutions includes ensuring priority is given to Malaysian citizens in terms of job opportunities by advertising vacancies on the Jobs Malaysia website before allowing applications by foreign workers and prioritize job interviews for the locals. The ministry needs to be strict about the terms and conditions of foreign workers employment, supervise companies with migrant workers and are responsible for determining the actual numbers needed in the respective sectors. It is crucial to reduce our country dependency on cheap labor. Also, proper actions should be taken towards the undocumented workers in Malaysia. Raid in the early hours and deportations towards immigrants who failed to register and get work permits should be executed. Employers who do not renew their workers work permit should also be prosecuted to prevent more undocumented workers from working illegally in Malaysia and as an example how important it is to be responsible and abide by the stipulated laws and regulations. If there is too much of foreign workers, our environment will also be affected as an illegal immigrants usually find a place to live and migrates from one place to another leaving traces and trash behind.The Immigration Department has pledged to free the country from illegal immigrants beginning Aug 31. Its director-general Datuk Seri Mustafar Ali who is a director-general said that The Immigration Department has pledged to free the country from illegal immigrants.The department would further intensify the operation to detain illegal immigrants. Employer who hire illegal foreign workers would also be detained.Nevertheless, enough time will be given for the illegal immigrants to surrender. A program called voluntary surrender programme enable illegal immigrants to return back to their countries of origin voluntarily. ('Department of Immigration pledges to rid Malaysia of illegals' 2018)

All things considered, the entering of foreign workers has certainly results in positive impact towards Malaysia’s country development. Foreign workers in Malaysia is undeniably needed for growth and stability of economy. The demand for foreign workers is understandable as there is shortage of manpower in sectors that contributes most profits to Malaysia’s economy. However, If the number of foreign workers in Malaysia outnumbered the citizens, both the demographic and social profile would change dramatically in the coming years. The current profile is bumiputra (68.6 per cent), Chinese (23.4 per cent), Indians (7.0 per cent) and others (1 per cent) with the official count of non-Malaysian citizens in 2016 at 10.3 per cent of the total population of Malaysia. (Wai 'Rising number of foreign workers in Malaysia - a worrying statistic: The Star columnist' 2016) These are numbers that all Malaysians should seriously reflect on when they talk about wanting more foreign workers. Our addiction to unskilled, cheap and uneducated foreign labor will help us in the short term but in the long run, we will have to shoulder the presence of these people. Our work force needs to be upgraded with more specialization in areas of expertise as traditional commodity-based exports will lose out to high technology products. We also need to make sure that the entering of immigrants will not change the local society. All culture of Malaysia citizens need to be well preserved and far from being affected by others. In order to be one of the top best countries in the world, Malaysia needs to be able to handle human resources diligently to avoid any difficulties in the future. Government and citizens of Malaysia should work together towards a better nation.

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Employment Of Foreign Workers In Malaysia. (2022, February 17). Edubirdie. Retrieved July 19, 2024, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/employment-of-foreign-workers-in-malaysia/
“Employment Of Foreign Workers In Malaysia.” Edubirdie, 17 Feb. 2022, edubirdie.com/examples/employment-of-foreign-workers-in-malaysia/
Employment Of Foreign Workers In Malaysia. [online]. Available at: <https://edubirdie.com/examples/employment-of-foreign-workers-in-malaysia/> [Accessed 19 Jul. 2024].
Employment Of Foreign Workers In Malaysia [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Feb 17 [cited 2024 Jul 19]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/employment-of-foreign-workers-in-malaysia/
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