World

M'sia shrugs off Myanmar workers ban

KUALA LUMPUR: Any decision by Myanmar to stop sending workers to Malaysia will not badly affect the country as Malaysians will be asked to fill the vacancies, Deputy Human Resources Minister Ismail Abdul Muttalib said.

He also pointed out that besides Myanmar, there are 14 other source countries, including Indonesia and Bangladesh, where employers could recruit from, The Star reported.

Mr Ismail said: "Furthermore, we want to encourage more local workers to fill up any vacancies. That is why we have programmes tailored to recruit locals."

He was commenting on reports that the Myanmar government has suspended sending workers to Malaysia following a diplomatic row between the two countries over the plight of Rohingyas in the Rakhine state in Myanmar.

According to the Myanmar Times, the Ministry of Labour, Immigration and Population released a statement announcing the suspension of the programme to send workers to Malaysia which was confirmed by the Myanmar Employment Agen­cies Federation.

Mr Ismail acknowledged the importance of having foreign workers especially in labour intensive sectors, but asked, "Why do we need so many"?

Home Ministry figures show there are 140,259 Myanmar nationals holding valid temporary working permits in Malaysia, AFP reported.

The Malaysian Employers Federation executive director Shamsuddin Bardan said the ban would have no significant short-term effect if Myanmar workers already in Malaysia are not pulled back. - THE STAR

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