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DEPENDANCY ON FOREIGN WORKER ISSUE Our economy is swarmed with foreign workers who are unskilled or have low

skill sets that cannot contribute meaningfully to Malaysia’s aspiration of becoming a high-income economy. The high dependency on foreign labor is not unique to Malaysia alone as the problem is also faced by countries with high growth rates such as Singapore, United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia. Mr. Richard himself agreed that even Holiday Inn Kuala Lumpur Glenmarie Hotel is dependent too much on the foreign worker. About 60 percent of the housekeeping staffs are from Nepal and Bangladesh. He mentioned that the increasing numbers of foreign workers in their organization were due to the lower cost involved as well as the reluctant of locals to enter the industry. Statistics from Immigration Department of Malaysia shows that the trend of foreign workers working in Malaysia continued to increase from 2001 to 2007. The number of foreign workers recorded in 2007 were more than 2 million workers, a 9.4 per cent increase compared to 2006 (1.87 million) and 53.0 per cent compared to 2003 (1.34 million). Such high dependency creates not just numbers and percentages, but also gives rise to social and security issues in our country.

which create problem to the hotel when their work productivity decreases. there is still need to monitored the other group closely. this policy has also contributed to the situation that puts the country in the middle-income trap. which is necessary to push the economy to a high-income level. While acknowledging the important contribution made by foreign workers. that we have become a nation that is too dependent on foreign workers. almost every hotel is hiring foreign labor in their organization especially in the department of housekeeping. Directly it does affect the economic stability in our country.IMPACT Dr Awang Azman Awang Pawi. demeaning and dangerous) sectors. which were eventually filled up by unskilled foreign workers. Holiday Inn Kuala Lumpur Glenmarie Hotel is also affected by this issue when many of their local female workers trapped in the love affair with these foreign labors. cultural and security problems. especially in our services industry. This doesn't contribute much to our economy as most of the incomes received by these workers are channeled back to their home countries. . a researcher at the Institute of East-Asian Studies. Universiti Malaysia Sarawak as reported by Bernama (Aug 2011) said the robust economic growth in the past two decade has led to a higher standard of living which also contributed to the locals' aversion to the 3D (dirty. As we can see in the hotel industry itself. Even though. Economists also stated that continuous dependence on cheap foreign labor would not encourage local corporations to automate. most of the illegal workers that create problems. the government should realize that an uncontrolled influx of foreigners creates social. Undeniable. While Malaysia's previous liberal policy on foreign workers has helped it maintain its competitiveness.

migrant or local. Low wages is another important factor why locals are not interested in taking on certain jobs therefore minimum wage system should be implemented and monitored closely. The focus should not be only on educating and training potential local staff but to also ensure labor-intensive businesses strive to create a conducive work environment where locals would want to work. Mr. In order to increase the career intention among locals especially graduates into the hotel industry. we cannot blame locals for not wanting to do such work. local company would have been forced to innovate and automate to boost productivity to maintain their competitiveness. In order to discourage the . Richard himself would prefer to bring more local into the industry. The Malaysian Skills Certificate (SKM) program should be used more efficiently to prepare our locals for the industry. Mr. This initiative could be strengthened up by having partnerships or joint-venture between the hotel industry and the education institution themselves. Other than that we have to develop human resource potential with proper training and education and identification of the different sectors and youth groups. receives the same low pay. If every worker. Richard highlighted the importance of educating and exposing them on the career opportunities in the hotel industry as early as in their primary education.SOLUTION Some economist researcher believes that if Malaysia had not allowed the massive influx of foreign workers. Perhaps our government should learn from Singapore in their initiative to reduce dependency on foreign worker. The Human Resource Ministry must work closely with youth organizations to achieve this.

Singapore introduced a two-tier foreign levy system to impose higher levies for unskilled workers. in the construction sector. In a sector that no distinction is made between skilled and unskilled For example. the quota system is used. Thus.employment of unskilled employers who are more dependent on foreign workers pay a higher levy than those who are less dependent on foreign workers (http://www. employers pay a levy of SIN$440 for each unskilled worker and only SIN$200 for a skilled worker. .gov.