Malaysia bars recruitment agencies to outsource hiring of foreign workers

The Human Resources Minister of Malaysia, V. Sivakumar, has declared that recruitment agencies are the only entities permitted to hire foreign labor, explicitly barring outsourcing companies from this role.

This new directive was reported by Malay Mail, highlighting the government’s commitment to curb the misuse of foreign worker recruitment.

Minister Sivakumar delineated that the recruitment process must adhere to the protocols established by the Department of Labour Peninsular Malaysia (JTKSM), ensuring that foreign workers are only employed for the roles they were originally hired for and not misallocated to unrelated industries.

The stringent measures come as a response to protect foreign workers from being brought into the country without guaranteed employment, a situation that the minister stressed would not be tolerated.

A series of nationwide operations were ordered by the ministry to enforce these regulations, signaling the government’s dedication to preventing incidents of forced labor, which pose serious social problems.

This new policy stance is supported by findings from Migration for Development and Equality (MIDEQ) co-investigator Anita Ghimire, who pointed out the challenges faced by migrant workers recruited by outsourcing firms.

Often, these workers are unaware of their hiring through an outsourcing company until they reach Malaysia, where they may be compelled to work informally for different companies.

The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) has also shed light on the plight of migrant workers, noting that many become undocumented due to leaving abusive employers, further jeopardizing their legal status due to the binding nature of work permits to specific employers.

By introducing these measures, the Malaysian government aims to foster a more ethical and regulated environment for foreign workers, safeguarding their rights and ensuring their employment is both legal and fair. –