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Cover W3 Jun2022 MISHU ContentBlog ForeignWorkforce 03 1

Ever Wondered Why Our Country Is Full Of Foreign Workers?

I’m sure as Malaysians we love #FOOD. We place our Malaysian cuisine close to our hearts and we sing it to our overseas friends or colleagues whenever we have a chance. So, to all the food lovers out there, just answer this question…

Have you ever noticed that the workers or employees in the restaurants that you have dined in are mostly foreigners? This is the same for other job positions such as the construction and factory workers, janitors, agricultural workers and even plantation workers.

While Malaysia is in dire need of skilled foreigners, it is without a doubt that unskilled foreigners have increased in quantity in recent years. The rise of unskilled workers is mainly due to the overflowing 3D jobs. 3D jobs are easily defined as jobs that include ‘Dangerous, Difficult and Dirty’ in the job description. While these jobs are considered an opportunity for many other countries, for Malaysians, these are jobs are rarely preferred or in fact, rejected due to the following reasons.

Malaysian’s Perspective Of The 3D Jobs

In past, our parent always tell us ” to study hard or work hard or else you’ll end up as a Garbageman or something like that”.

While we might not necessarily look down on people that are working in these 3D job industries, the idea that these jobs are greatly associated with ‘or else’ is strongly instilled in our minds during our childhood, so, we can’t help but feel fear and ashamed if we were the ones doing the 3D jobs. ‘Dirty, Dangerous and Difficult‘ jobs are also considered part-time jobs for undergraduates or dropouts in society’s eyes, so it is without a doubt that people, regardless of those who work or do not work there might think of people who work in these industries are ‘different’ from the others.

3D jobs wage is never enough

Another reason that citizens of Malaysia would not take up 3D jobs is because of the minimum salary and the low pay that 3D jobs provide. According to RinggitPlus, it is said that waiters and servers are one of the lowest-paying jobs in Malaysia. Being one of the lowest paying jobs in Malaysia, it is without a doubt a discouragement towards anyone who even thinks of joining the industry. According to Malaysia’s Human Resources Minister M.Kulasegaran, it is mentioned that Malaysia’s youth would be more likely to take on these 3D jobs when the pay is much more favourable and with better incentives. With that said, if there is an increase in the minimum wage or the payment of the 3D jobs, it is predicted that service prices or food prices will soar much higher compared to now.  

The cheaper labour of foreign workers 

So why is foreign labour much more preferred instead of the local workforce in an entrepreneur’s eyes? The answer is simple, it is because foreign labour is much cheaper compared to local. Malaysians in general would require higher pay as they will need it to meet their monthly commitments and spend on necessities or entertainment. On the other hand, foreign workers would require much less pay as they normally stay together in groups and have generally fewer monthly commitments. In most cases, these foreign workers are also illegal workers that do not have the required permits to work in Malaysia. This makes them vulnerable and easily deceived by the local entrepreneurs as they are not protected by the law. Business owners will in the end still choose these foreign workers instead of local workers as they can pay them less than the minimum wage set by the country. 

However, the similar phenomenon can be said for higher end jobs as companies or businesses would still rather hire expatriates overseas to fulfil these roles as it will make the team look more professional and international. This might be due to companies are trying to create a workplace that might attract foreign investors.

Are you looking to hire foreign workers for your business? Do you want to hire overseas expatriates but you’re not sure about the steps to legally do so? Why not come to us as we have the solution to your questions!

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