Malaysia Govt intends to open employment for ex-convicts to replace foreign workers
KUALA LUMPUR: The government intends to open up more job opportunities for ex-convicts to replace foreign workers in the country, the Parliament was told today. Human Resources Minister V. Sivakumar said this was because ex-prisoners, especially those who served time for minor offences, were still productive to work.
“We can use them (ex-convicts) to replace foreign workers. Efforts have been made by the ministry, in collaboration with the Ministry of Home Affairs, and they are implemented through the Social Security Organisation (Socso) with various trainings provided.
“Many (former prisoners) have been given job opportunities. Prisoners are given training and when they come out, they can join the employment market,” he said during the question and answer session in the Dewan Rakyat.
He was responding to a supplementary question from RSN Rayer (PH-Jelutong) who wanted to know whether the government plans to become the facilitator between employers and prisons in having ex-convicts replace foreign workers.
Meanwhile, in response to an original question from Datuk Awang Hashim (PN-Pendang) about the number of foreign workers in the country, Sivakumar said as of Sept 30, the total number projected was 2,730,153.
He said they included 1,830,828 active Temporary Employment Pass holders, 152,158 foreign workers who had yet to enter the country and 747,167 registered illegal immigrants under the Workforce Recalibration Programme 2.0.
“The use of foreign workers is to meet the labour needs of certain sectors that are difficult to fill with local workers. Therefore, the government implements various initiatives, across ministries and agencies, to encourage the local workforce to venture into jobs in sectors dominated by foreign workers.
“The ministry encourages industries to switch to the use of automation, mechanisation and digitalisation that can create demand for high-skilled workers, thus gradually reducing the dependence on low-skilled foreign workers,” he added.