About three months ago, the Immigration Department said that employers are not allowed to hire foreign workers to work outside of the kitchen because it’s actually illegal.
However, recent reports reveal that employers will also not be allowed to hire foreigners as cooks to work in the kitchen!
According to The Malay Mail, Human Resource Minister, M. Kulasegaran said that every restaurant in Malaysia must hire only local cooks starting 1 July 2018. However, he clarified that the regulation to permit only local cooks in restaurants will be effective starting 1 January 2019.
Therefore, employers have until the end of this year (2018) to make sure that the cooks in their restaurants are all Malaysians.
“So, we want locals to be employed as cooks. There will be no compromise… we are giving you notice to do it by 31 December 2018. If you don’t do it, we can’t help it,” he said.
Hmm… what will happen to the foreign staff who were cooks? Where will they go?
After a meeting with the Indian Restaurant Operators Association (Prisma), he noted that the ministry will hold more meetings with Prisma and Presma (Indian Muslim Restaurant Operators Association) to discuss further on this implementation.
Kulasegaran explained that this effort was inspired by the Penang state government’s decision to ban foreigners as cooks in food outlets all over the island in 2014. The decision was made to protect Penang’s national food heritage. Seems like a good move.
Shocked by this statement, Prisma’s president P Muthusamy said that this implementation would affect employers greatly. True!
“In the past few years, we have been facing problems of manpower. In fact, more than 500 restaurants had closed during the period due to the shortage of workers.”
Hence, he hopes that the Ministry would discuss with them before implementing the new order.
Concerned about manpower too, Presma president Ayub Khan highlighted that locals not willing to work in restaurants is a pressing problem in Malaysia.
“We advertised, offering a salary of up to RM2,500 but no one came. It is not easy to find local workers for restaurants,” he shared.
That said, while this implementation is beneficial for Malaysians, there will be a rise in the number of unemployed foreign workers that the ministry must deal with. So, hopefully, the Human Resource Ministry has come up with an effective plan to curb that problem before implementing the new rule.
What do you think of this implementation? Let us know in the comments below!
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