Sunday, March 29, 2009

Over 26,000 jobs lost in Malaysia

Over 26,000 jobs lost in Malaysia

Agence France-Presse

March 29, 2009 08:09pm

MORE than 26,000 people have lost their jobs in Malaysia so far this year as the economic slowdown forced employers to cut back, state news agency Bernama has reported.

Malaysian Employers Federation executive director Shamsuddin Bardan told Bernama he expected further job losses in the coming weeks.

He said a 16.2 billion dollar stimulus package unveiled earlier this month had not provided immediate incentive for companies to retain their workers.

The government has slashed its work permit approvals for foreign workers by almost 70 percent so far this year and cancelled work visas for 55,000 Bangladeshi workers after unions said the situation for Malaysians was bleak enough.

In January, the government also banned the hiring of new foreigners in the manufacturing and services sectors after a report forecast 45,000 Malaysians would lose their jobs in the next few months.

Malaysia is one of Asia's largest importers of labour and has an estimated 2.2 million foreign workers, who are the mainstay of the plantation and manufacturing sectors.

However, the government has become concerned about the ramifications of having such a large migrant workforce and periodically tries to reduce it.

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