Foreign worker agencies are bracing for a tough 2019 as the government follows through with its promise to regularise the labour market, cut out fraud and protect foreign workers’ rights.
The agencies are also expecting a drop in foreign hiring as Malaysian employers relook into costs when the minimum wage of RM1,100 is applicable to foreigners on Jan 1, 2019.
Manforce Group Bhd CFO Andrew Chin said the government is also coming down tough on other aspects in 2019, with new terms and conditions that are expected to increase the cost of hiring foreign workers, which is also a bad news for agencies like Manforce.
“(The minimum wage rule) is not our only concern. I’m sure a lot of businesses would have a lot of concerns, among which is in terms of the cost of doing business,” he said.
The government is on a path to wean the country off its dependency on foreign workers due to a combination of reasons, including economic, security as well as past mismanagement in the foreign hiring sector. It is also bent on dismantling the monopolies involved in the sector.