Illustration photo. (Source: Internet)

Kuala Lumpur (VNA) – The Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) has called on the country’s government to reduce dependence on foreign employers, said MTUC Secretary-General Gopal Kishnam on February 10.

The MTUC said raising levy for foreign workers could easily solve this problem, adding that employers should make a conscious effort to employ locals and reduce their dependence on foreigners.

Gopal Kishnam said the problem persists because employers are over-dependent on foreigners and refuse to provide job opportunities for locals.

Gopal said the government wants to reduce the number of foreign workers, who account for about 30 to 35 percent of the total workforce presently, to about 15 percent by 2020.

He said to discourage employers from hiring foreign workers, the government recently hiked the levy to 2,500 MYR (600 USD) for foreigner workers in the manufacturing and construction sectors, and 1,500 MYR (360 USD) for those in the agriculture and plantation sectors.

However, Gopal added that this was met with strong opposition by employers who feel it will burden them under the present economic situation.

There are more than 6.1 million foreign workers in Malaysia , including 2.1 million who are registered and an estimated 4 million unregistered employees.-VNA