Wednesday, January 8, 2014

No foreign workers for fast-food outlets, says panel

The Special Cabinet Committee on Foreign Workers and Illegal Immigrants (JKKA-PATI) has decided that fast-food concept restaurants will not be allowed to employ foreign workers.

The JKKA-PATI secretariat, in a statement issued after its meeting chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin in Putrajaya today, said the decision was made to give priority to local residents in filling up such vacancies.

“The government views the matter seriously and fast-food concept restaurant operators have been urged to employ locals who are still interested in working at such places, it said.

JKKA-PATI said cooking in fast-food restaurants was quite routine, as compared to those which needed experience to prepare a wide variety of dishes.

“Fast food restaurants are still popular as a source of employment among young people such as school-leavers and university students to obtain exposure and income, even as part-timers in the food industry,” it said.

Also present at the meeting were Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Minister Hasan Malek, Health Minister Dr S Subramaniam, Agriculture and Agro-based Industries Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob, Tourism and Culture Minister Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz, Women, Family and Community Development Minister Rohani Karim and Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Douglas Unggah Embas.

JKKA-PATI has also decided on several issues which included extending the government-to-government mechanism with Bangladesh, now being implemented in peninsular Malaysia to the Sarawak government to fill vacancies in the oil palm plantation sector. 
Its implementation in the peninsula had so far, generated positive impact, it said.

“The method of entry control, as well as security and health screenings by both countries is seen as being more systematic and addressed common problems on employing foreign workers,” added the statement.

Apart from that, JKKA-PATI said the Special Programme of Managing Illegal Immigrants (PKPP) which was being carried out at the Home Ministry One-Stop Approval Centre (OSC) will cease on Jan 20.

It also reminded employers who alleged being swindled by agents or middlemen during the 6P programme to present their cases at the OSC before the PKPP ended.

“It is hoped employers will approach the OSC fast to avoid further complications.

“After the programme has been terminated, the government will carry out stricter and continuous enforcement to ensure public security and order,” it said.

- Bernama