PETALING JAYA: Employers want the Government to speed up the procedure to legalise foreign workers.
They want this done fast, as many are already facing critical shortage of workers.
Malaysian Muslim Restaurant Owners Association (Presma) president Ayoob Khan Muhamad Yakub said with the latest decision, they hope to be able to organise their future needs, which had been put on hold because of the earlier freeze on hiring new foreign workers.
Ayoob said Presma would write to the Home Ministry to request for a special quota for the organisation and its members.
Ayoob said mamak restaurant owners prefer workers from India as they have a similar culture and knowledge of cooking Indian and Malaysian food.
Malaysian Indian Restaurant Owners Association (Primas) honorary chairman Datuk R. Ramalingam Pillai, hoped that the authorities would consider issuing temporary passes to illegal workers up to the age of 55.
Under the Illegal Immigrant Rehiring programme, which ended on Dec 31 last year, those above 45 were not allowed to be registered.
Ramalingam said Indian restaurant owners needed cooks and general workers, preferably from India.
Malaysia–Singapore Coffee Shop Proprietors’ General Association president Ho Su Mong said their members were looking forward to having their illegal workers legalised.
Ho said that many coffee shops had not been able to hire enough foreign workers, which left them without enough staff to put on a rotation basis for an all-day operation.
“Most of our foreign workers are from Myanmar.
“We also have Indonesian workers, along with some others from Myanmar,” he said.
SME Association of Malaysia president Datuk Michael Kang called on the Government to release more details on the matter.
“Hopefully all the rehiring can be directly done with the Immigration and registration completed at no cost,” he said.
Kang also hoped that the Government would allow experienced workers to extend their work permits.