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Government plans drastic cut in number of foreign workers

THE Government is planning a drastic reduction in the number of foreign workers in the country, with at least 200,000 likely to be sent home by next year.

Home Affairs Ministry secretary-general Datuk Raja Azahar Raja Abdul Manap said there were now some 2.02mil foreign workers, with approvals for 200,000 arrivals this year.

> The target: To cut the number down to 1.8million by next year and 1.5million by 2015.

> The objective: To reduce the country's dependency on foreign labour; to prioritise jobs for locals.

> Measures to be taken: All unskilled foreign workers will not have their work permits extended if they have been in the country for five years or more; skilled workers have up to a maximum of 10 years; and enforcement staff strength tripled

> Industries given priority: construction, manufacturing and plantation.

> Domestic maids: No limit to length of stay. But eligibility of employers may be raised from income of RM3,000 to RM5,000.

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