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IMMIGRANT CRACKDOWN WILL HIT MALAYSIA'S WORKFORCE AND HARM PRODUCTIVITY?

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — Farmers here say the authorities’ efforts to round up immigrants will ultimately deprive them of their main workforce and harm productivity.
This follows the government’s decision to launch wide-scale operations against illegal immigrants who were allegedly responsible for encroaching some 6000ha of land in the highlands.
One farmer, who only wanted to be identified as Lim, claimed that the authorities were barking up the wrong tree because only a small portion of the land was actually encroached by illegal immigrants.
“Most of the immigrants do not even own the land unless they have some sort of sharing deal with the farm owners, which is uncommon,” he said.

  • “I can tell you that most of the immigrants here are hired to carry out manual labour and heavy work.”
  • Lim said many farmers were forced to hire foreign workers because the local residents were not interested in working the farmlands.
  • He said the immigrants were willing to do heavy work such as fertilising and planting the crops.

He said he could not confirm whether the vegetable produce would be dropping significantly but noted the lack of foreign workers would have an impact on productivity.
Another farmer, who only wanted to be known as Khoo, said it was difficult for farmers like him to make ends meet without hiring foreign workers.
Another farmer, who wished to be known as Cheng, advised the authorities to look into more long-term solutions to help the farmers survive while maintaining the highlands’ environment.
Meanwhile,  the Home Ministry has proposed mandatory whipping as punishment to be meted out for illegal agents bringing in immigrants into the country.
Its minister, Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi (pic), said such punishment will serve as a lesson for illegal agents as they were seen to be indifferent towards enforcement action taken by authorities.





Source: Agencies
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