The recruitment of foreign workers should be managed by CLAB

KUALA LUMPUR – Deputy Minister of Public Works, Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan proposed that the recruitment of foreign workers in the construction sector be managed entirely by the Construction Labor Exchange Center Berhad. CLAB is an organization established by the Malaysian Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB).

He explained that by managing the recruitment of foreign construction workers centrally through one agency, it can solve various issues including the dumping of foreign workers in the construction industry, the issue of forced labor and oppression as well as the welfare of the concerned group.

It is now estimated that there are 600,000 foreign construction workers in the country, exceeding the industry’s needs of around 500,000 people.

In addition to hiring, CLAB can also manage the exchange of employees from employers who no longer need them to new employers including in other sectors, further retaining experienced and skilled employees in the country instead of hiring new employees.

I hope that the two relevant ministries, namely the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Ministry of Human Resources can consider this proposal,” he said at a press conference in conjunction with CLAB’s 20th anniversary celebrations here today.

Since 2004, CLAB has managed a total of 221,665 foreign construction workers. The agency also conducts interviews with workers in their home countries, provides accommodation, monitors wages and takes care of workers’ welfare.

According to Ahmad, the question of monopoly does not arise because CLAB is only proposed to manage foreign workers in the construction sector, while there are many other sectors that use foreign workers in this country such as manufacturing and plantations.

He explained, if the proposal cannot be implemented, the second proposal is for all foreign workers in the construction sector under government contracts to be managed by CLAB.

“It involves projects to build roads, buildings, bridges and slopes under government contracts under development expenditure with an allocation of RM90 billion this year,” he said.

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