Press Statement by YB Haniza Talha, ADUN Taman Medan dated 13 Feb 2016
Zahid Hamidi must prove the need to recruit 1.5 million Bangladeshi workers over a period of three years. According to a report by the Malaysian Employers Federation dated December 2014, there are already 2.9 million legal foreign workers in Malaysia. Our Malaysian population is slightly more than 31 million at the moment. With an additional 1.5 million workers, that would total 4.4 million workers or 14 percent of our population. With this figure, the number of foreign workers in Malaysia is already more than our Malaysian of Indian descent.
If Zahid claims that businesses requested for these foreign workers and not the government, then is it not because of the levy that Zahid is pushing for this deal to be inked as soon as the cabinet approves it? On top of that, our national registry is still not very updated, with many errors that might accidentally happen and simply filed under the Official Secrets Act after that.
It is a known fact that that our country is facing an economic slowdown at the moment and to say that we need so many foreign workers is like saying that we are overflowing with wealth. Our own people already do not have enough, need to take up two jobs to survive, yet the DPM wants to bring in more people to share our subsidised rice, petrol, sugar and other essential items meant for locals? How can the construction industry be flourishing in this climate of uncertainty, if I may ask? Already investors are either merging or pulling out from our country, but Zahid says we need more workers. Where is the logic? I demand that the DPM explain this illogical move. Has the government made a study on how locals can be employed rather than accepting more foreigners?
When foreign workers earn our ringgit, which at the moment is subjected to a minimum wage of RM1000 per month in the peninsular and RM920 for those in Sabah Sarawak and Labuan, we will see an increased outflow of our ringgit when money is remitted back to their home countries. It was also reported during parliament in November 2013 that RM48 billion was sent through legal channels between 2010 and 2012 and that the figure doubled from RM10 billion in 2009 to RM20 billion in 2012.
All these are official figures. Now let’s just imagine the unreported and unregistered numbers.
I would like to stress that this is, again, a failure in proper planning and management. Zahid has got it completely wrong this time and the scariest part is that he is the DPM with a lot of influence and power. We can only hope that the cabinet has good conscience to reject this very, very bad proposal to accept 1.5 million more foreign workers.
YB Haniza Talha
ADUN Taman Medan
Timbalan Ketua Wanita Keadilan