foreign workers

Foreign Workers Hired In Industries Surpasses Predicted Figure

foreign workers

Manufacturing and services had the greatest disparity between anticipated and actual employment levels.

There were 667,418 foreign workers engaged in Malaysia’s vital sectors/sub-sectors as of 9 October 2023, which was more than the expected figures provided in the first quarter of the year (518,000). 

Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail, Minister of Home Affairs, made the announcement on Wednesday (18 October 2023), following a joint meeting with the Ministry of Human Resources on the management of foreign workers in the nation. The meeting noted that the Foreign Worker Employment Relaxation Plan (PKPPA) and the Workforce Recalibration Programme (RTK) 2.0 were introduced earlier to meet the needs of five critical sectors or sub-sectors: manufacturing, construction, plantations, agriculture, and services (restaurants), which contribute a 1% increase in GDP.

According to the Minister, the details of the projection and entry of foreign workers through the implementation of PKPPA and RTK 2.0 are as follows:


Critical sector

Proejctions from the relevant regulatory agency

Total admission for 2023, as of 9 October
























 According to Minister Saifuddin, the estimated number of foreign workers in Malaysia has already exceeded the objective originally established by the Ministry of Economy in the 12th Malaysia Plan. As a result, the government’s priority for the time being will be to manage the admission of foreign workers based on the allowed quota.

Related link: Malaysian employers indifferent about foreign workers welfare

While the RTK2.0 registration period is set to finish on December 31, 2023, the verification procedure will continue until March 31, 2024. “Employers are welcome to join RTK 2.0 before registration closes,” added the minister.

“The government’s relaxation provided through PKPPA and RTK 2.0 is still subject to compliance with labour and immigration laws,” he noted. According to the findings of the inspections and inspections that have been implemented, the degree of employer compliance is still low, according to today’s meeting.In fact, it was shown that employers in the service industry are more likely to violate the law and are classed as high risk.”

Minister Saifuddin urged all employers to focus on the aspect of compliance with the relevant conditions and labour laws that the government has simplified through the PKPPA, stating that the government “will not hesitate to take strict action against employers who fail to comply with the laws in force.”

A quota of 2,000 foreign workers has been granted for employment at theme parks.

Aside from the foregoing, the conference considered a proposal by the MOTAC to establish a sub-sector. For example, theme parks, for the aim of recruiting foreign workers. This followed a “sudden increase” in the number of international and local tourists following COVID-19, according to the report.

In response, clearance was provided during the meeting for the sub-sector to operate. This is especially to recruit foreign workers in the jobs of “recreational theme park operator assistant” and “water theme park caretaker assistant.”

A quota of 2,000 has been established for the years 2024 and 2025.

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