Industry groups under fire for ‘hypocrisy’ on foreign labour

Zaidi Azmi
Written by Zaidi Azmi

KUALA LUMPUR – February 22, 2016: Several industry associations and groups have been criticised for being “hypocrites” for urging the government to review the recent freeze of  foreign worker recruitment.

A check by The Mole discovered that many Malaysians were angry that these groups have reportedly criticised the government’s so-called “flip-flops” on the matter and insisted that the recruitment freeze, issued last Friday, will further strain their businesses.

The groups include the Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM), The Associated Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Malaysia (ACCCIM) and the Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF).

Malaysians who voiced their anger at the groups were of the opinion that it was hypocritical of them to complain about the matter when none came forward to support the government when it was lambasted by many for the plan to recruit some 1.5 million foreign workers to accommodate their needs.

“Not only they did not say anything when the government was whacked, they even claimed that they did not need additional foreign workers. Liars,” wrote Facebooker Nadiah Ahmad Tajuddin.

“Who or which bodies, in the first place, that had requested for foreign workers?” wrote Zamani Ahmad, “It was them.”

“But when the DPM (Zahid) gave reasons why the government wanted to import 1.5 million foreign workers which caused him to be lambasted none of these groups supported him. Served them right,” he wrote.

Abba Abdullah was of the opinion that it was unfair for the associations to belittle the government for trying to reduce the numbers of unemployed locals.

“It’s not flip-flop. Since everybody said that there are a lot of unemployed locals who can do the 3D (Dangerous, Difficult and Dirty) jobs so it is only fair for the government to prioritise the locals,” he argued.

Aziz Khan wrote that now would be the right time for the government to force employers groups to employ locals and pay them better.

“Checkmate. We need businesses that can complement our economy. Not those who merely wanted to exploit workers,” he wrote.

Gaji Buta pointed out the associations should be more patriotic and advised their members to not be overly dependent on foreign workers given the high number of unemployed locals.

“They have a corporate social responsibility to employ local labour before they even try to employ foreign labour.

“Employing cheap foreign labour only gives short-term profits to their members, leaving in its wake long-term costly social problems, like high unemployment rate among locals, higher crime rate, drug addiction, and violence,” he commented.



About the author

Zaidi Azmi

Zaidi Azmi

If Zaidi Azmi isn’t busy finding his way in the city, this 26-year-old northern kampung boy can be found struggling to make sense of the Malaysian political scene. Zaidi can be reached at zaidiazmi91@gmail.com.