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Thursday, February 18, 2010

Getting more foreign workers is not the answer

A RECENT news report said that the 2,000 traditional Indian tailor shops in Johor are requesting for foreign tailors. They claim that there is a shortage of local tailors.

I hope the Government will not consider such a request any more. Is getting foreign tailors the solution to the problem?

We should learn from similar cases relating to the shortages of security guards, cleaners etc. Importing foreign workers is not the answer in the long term.

First, it will not encourage local industries to train and recruit local workers as for them, hiring foreign workers is cheaper.

Once the foreign workers are around, there will be no chance for local workers to be hired.

Many people are already complaining about how uneasy they feel when surrounded by foreign security guards who cannot communicate well in either Bahasa Malaysia or English.

Many are also not comfortable in restaurants which are fully manned by foreign workers. In some cases, not a single Malaysian is present at the restaurant.

Believe me, we will survive even if we don’t hire any foreign tailor. Tailoring will be a bit more expensive if local people do the job.

Previously, shops in Petaling Street in Kuala Lumpur said that they can’t get local workers to man their shops. My advice is, if you cannot get local workers, do not get involved in the business.

The trouble is, if you allow one of them to take in foreign workers, others will make the same request. And so, I would like to tell the Government not to worry whether our business can survive without foreign workers, we will manage somehow.

We should only take in foreign workers in critical areas where we really cannot survive without them. Example? Professors for critical studies, specialist doctors and CEOs of multinational companies.

ABDUL RAHIM,

Subang Jaya.

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