MALAYSIA Tanah Tumpah Darahku


Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Ministers blamed for labour shortage which caused price hikes


Ngeh Koo Ham says the lack of workers in farms has led to the prices of vegetables soaring by 100% to 200%. (AFP pic)

KUALA LUMPUR: The increase in prices of many goods in the country is due to the indecisiveness of two ministries over the current labour shortage, an MP has claimed.

Ngeh Koo Ham (PH-Beruas) accused home minister Hamzah Zainudin and human resources minister M Saravanan as being the main contributors to the problem of foreign worker shortage in the country, saying they have been going back and forth about it.

“This is the contribution of the ministers – until the prices of vegetables have shot by 100% to 200%” he said.

Although he admitted that there were other reasons for the rise in prices, he said the two ministers seemed to have no plan or direction on how to resolve the matter.

He pointed to the legalisation of undocumented workers announced in November 2020 as an example

“The programme was not well-thought out and the terms and conditions were done as if the programme was intended to fail,” he told the Dewan Rakyat when debating on the Supply Bill 2022 for the human resources ministry at the committee stage.

The conditions include that the worker must already be working for an employer. “If the person is an undocumented migrant, how can the employer prove he is working with them?” he said.

Ngeh called these conditions “illogical” and that the country has lost RM20 billion a year in the palm oil business and RM2 billion in taxes per year due to the worker shortage.

“The prices of goods and vegetables have gone up because there are not enough workers,” he said.

“If the ministers are not capable, then they should bow out,” he said. - FMT

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