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2 theSun | MONDAY NOVEMBER 3 2008

news without borders

Malaysians returning
due to job squeeze abroad
KUALA LUMPUR: With the illegals but the labour unions special committee had been He said employers had found
world economy plummeting, have estimated that for every formed at the national level to numerous ways to circumvent
there is fear that more legal worker there is one illegal. liaise with employers to identify the policy and preferred
Malaysians abroad will be Whatever the figures, the vacancies. foreigners.
jobless and may head home, presence of illegals in Malaysia He said currently Johor Rajasekaran said there were
thus putting pressure on the is a fact. seemed to be most affected many reasons why employers
already tight job market here. The situation is rather because Malaysians working preferred foreigners, among
Malaysians working in serious in that out of the 252,600 in Singapore are starting to be them were that foreigners
Singapore are the first to feel new jobs created in the country retrenched and are heading worked for lesser wages and
the heat and are returning each year, almost 45% went to home to look for jobs. were willing to work long hours
home because they have been foreigners. The good news is that there in poor work conditions without
retrenched. Workers from other Human Resources Ministry are some 2,500 vacant jobs much benefits.
countries may be coming home secretary-general Datuk waiting for these returnees and Moreover, in cases where
soon as the economic situation Thomas George said the they could register themselves they employed illegals,
gets worse. government aims to reduce the with the Labour Department to they could easily blackmail
The job market here is now number of foreign workers to get a job. and exploit them with very
loaded with some 2.1 million 1.5 million by 2015. Ismail, however, advised inhumane work conditions.
legal foreigners which is about “We are working with all the returnees and other jobless The next key question that
20% of the total workforce. stakeholders, employers, workers Malaysians, particularly the begs to be answered is how to
Unless some of these workers and their trade unions to find youths, not to be choosy and to change the preference of local
are “off loaded”, it would be an amicable solution,” he said, take whatever jobs available. employers and get them to
difficult for those returning adding the Labour Department Ismail said it is now the provide better wages and work
Malaysians to get jobs. in particular has taken a pro- government’s policy to give conditions.
This problem is compounded active role and is working hard priority to Malaysians for jobs. Rajasekaran said legislation
by hundreds of illegal foreign to negate this problem before it However, this was easier said could be used and Malaysia
workers who are eyeing the gets out of hand. than done, Malaysian Trades had adequate laws to protect
same jobs. Its director-general, Datuk Union Congress secretary- workers but the biggest obstacle
No one has any statistics on Ismail Abdul Rahim, said a general G. Rajasekaran said. was enforcement. – Bernama

briefs
More than 20 apply to
be PKNS GM
SHAH ALAM: Mentri Besar Tan Sri
Abdul Khalid Ibrahim said more than
20 people have applied to fill the
vacant general manager’s post at the
Selangor State Development Corpora-
tion (PKNS).
He said the applications came from
bumiputra professionals, PKNS senior
officers and those from subsidiary
companies, Bernama reports.
“It is time the Malays choose the
best to manage PKNS to ensure good
returns while helping bumiputras to
progress in construction and com-
merce,” he said at the 3rd convocation
of Universiti Industri Selangor (unisel)
in Bestari Jaya near Kuala Selangor
yesterday.
Koh and He said appointment of Low Siew
other party Moi as acting general manager would
leaders at
the Gerakan
Deepavali
Gerakan to ensure spirit of not become an issue if 99% of PKNS
staff were serious in developing
bumiputras in commerce.
open house
M’sia Day remains ‘untainted’ Lian Hoe explains her
KUALA LUMPUR: Gerakan president a political spin to the date when ‘misconstrued’ speech
Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon has vowed Malaysia was formed,” Koh said at the KUALA LUMPUR: Wanita Gerakan
that Gerakan would ensure the spirit Gerakan Deepavali open house at its chief Datuk Tan Lian Hoe clarified
of Sept 16 – Malaysia Day – would not headquarters yesterday. yesterday she had neither insulted
be tainted by any political spin of Parti Koh said Gerakan Youth would the Malays nor questioned their
Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) adviser Datuk organise Malaysia Day celebrations in rights in a speech on Oct 10 which
Seri Anwar Ibrahim. Kuala Lumpur and other locations next she said was misconstrued as
Malaysia He said yesterday Sept 16 was not year. such.
prepared a day for a change of government but “Last year, we hosted a Malaysia The deputy information minis-
a day that a single nation was born in Day celebration in Berjaya Times ter told a news conference at the
to brief 1963, comprising Peninsular Malaysia, Square (in Kuala Lumpur) organised party’s national headquarters the
Mongolia Sabah and Sarawak. by our Youth wing and it was a big do. message contained in her speech
pg 4 Anwar had claimed that the “This year, due to party elections at the Wanita Gerakan assembly
opposition Pakatan Rakyat coalition and the hype and publicity caused by was to remind political leaders or
had enough MPs who were prepared the opposition’s hijack of the date, we NGOs not to politicise racial issues
to cross over for Pakatan Rakyat to thought it would be quite confusing to because Malaysia was a multiracial
take over the federal government on the rakyat if we organised it,” he said. country and such actions would
Sept 16 this year, an event that did Koh said Gerakan would not request undermine the country’s unity.
not happen. for Malaysia Day to be declared a She claimed certain quarters
“I want to remind the rakyat national holiday. had only focused on a single aspect
(people) that Sept 16 is Malaysia Day. He said Gerakan would also revive of her speech and taken it out of
Many in the peninsula may have the hosting of the Hari Raya Aidilfitri context.
forgotten this but for our brethren open house next year along with other “I never questioned Malay rights
in Sabah and Sarawak, it is a very major cultural celebrations such as or insulted anyone. The speech was
important, very significant day. Chinese New Year and Deepavali. taken out of context.” – Bernama
The opposition party (PKR) has put – Bernama