SHAH ALAM: The Malaysian Indian Restaurant Owners Association (Primas) has called on the government to immediately lift the freeze on hiring foreign workers for the restaurant sector to avoid any downsizing or closure of shops due to manpower shortages.
Its president, T Muthusamy, said restaurant operators in the Klang Valley were starting to close down their premises due to manpower shortages, the latest being in the Klang Little India area.
“The Asoka restaurant in Jalan Tengku Kelana, Klang, was closed down yesterday due to a shortage of foreign workers.
“With just four workers manning the restaurant, they could not maintain cleanliness and hygiene of the restaurant, thus forcing the owner to close shop,” he told Bernama here today.
In February last year, Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, who is also home minister, announced a freeze in the recruitment of workers from all source countries until the actual manpower needs of industries were determined.
Muthusamy said the restaurant industry was a very vital industry that could uplift the socio-economic status of the Indian community, thus helping them to increase their equity ownership on a par with other races.
He said the closure of shops due to manpower shortages by Indian restaurant operators would have a spillover effect on the businesses of vegetable traders and milk vendors who have business dealings with the operators.
“Many restaurant operators are seeking a replacement of workers for their business.
“As such, we appeal to the government to lift the ban on foreign workers for the benefit of restaurant operators,” said Muthusamy, who represents more than 1,000 restaurant operators. - Mkini