THE Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM) decried the Government’s decision to send skilled Malaysian workers to work in Japan, under a memorandum of collaboration (MoC) signed between both Governments.
“Malaysia is currently facing an acute shortage of manpower, especially skilled workers, which is hampering our national economic recovery.
“The labour shortage has caused work stoppages and under-production across the industry. Output has been affected, resulting in the failure to meet existing orders and accepting new ones.
“The constraints on supply of goods to satisfy demand will add further inflationary pressures despite the recent interest rate hike by Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) to dampen inflation,” said its president Tan Sri Soh Thian Lai, in a statement.
Two days ago, Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri M Saravanan and Japanese Justice Minister Yoshihisa Furukawa inked a MoC to send skilled Malaysian workers to work in Japan.
The exchange of documents was witnessed by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob and his Japanese counterpart, Fumio Kishida.
“The MoC will act as the best platform for eligible skilled Malaysian workers to work in the advanced technology-based ecosystem in Japan,” Bernama reported Saravanan as saying.
Touching on the matter, Soh said that Malaysia is already suffering from acute brain drain problem for years now, with many of them leaving to seek greener pastures elsewhere.
He added that the Government itself had embarked on various initiatives to bring back these talents and it should be continued to ensure local industries do not face a dearth of skilled workers.
“Besides, COVID-19 had accelerated industrial and technological transformation and we need skilled workforce to help us cope with the changes.
“Hence, the Government should seriously tackle our brain drain issues and think about repatriating earnings from overseas via exchange programmes,” Soh opined.
Consider apprenticeship programmes
He added that with the Government imposing the 80:20 ratio between local and foreign employees on industries, the MoC would further hamper their effort to get skilled manpower.
“It is because on one hand, the Government is sending our skilled workers overseas to work through such collaboration but at the same time, local industries are being imposing a limit on the number of migrant workers they can bring in.”
As for upskilling workforce, the industry leader said such opportunities in developed countries is something Malaysian employers could consider after or as part of the on-the-job training programme.
“What we should be looking is signing a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Malaysian companies for formal apprenticeship and upskilling programmes to be carried out by the global parent companies.
“This will help alleviate the skilled worker shortage faced by local industries.” Soh remarked. – May 31, 2022