No need for new law against foreign workers who do business

The authorities can take action against them under existing legislation, says MEF chief.


PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF) has pointed out that there is nothing to stop the government from taking action against foreigners who came to Malaysia as workers but are instead doing business.

Commenting on a statement by Treasury Secretary-General Irwan Serigar Abdullah about the huge number of foreigners conducting business in the country, MEF executive director Shamsuddin Bardan said there was no need for a new law to enable legal action against errant immigrants.

Such action was already provided for under the Immigration Act and Local Government Act, he said.

On Thursday, news reports quoted Irwan as saying that about four million foreigners in Malaysia were engaged in their own businesses. He did not say how many were unlicensed.

Speaking to graduates who had completed a six-month entrepreneurship course, Irwan gave the example of traders at the Chow Kit commercial district. He said half of them were Indonesians.

This prompted Selayang MP William Leong to complain about the government’s alleged negligence.

Leong, a member of PKR, urged the authorities to take firm action to ensure that foreigners did not end up robbing Malaysians of business opportunities.


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Pun begitu pada peringkat awal selepas pasca kemerdekaan Malaysia, kerajaan tidak memberi penekanan kepada sektor pelancongan. Kerajaan pada ketika itu lebih memberi tumpuan kepada pembangunan infrastruktur negara dan melawan ancaman komunis. Selain itu, faktor ancaman dari luar seperti konfrantasi dengan Indonesia turut menjejaskan rencana kerajaan pada ketika itu. Ia sekaligus melambatkan pekembangan sektor pelancongan di Malaysia.

Pada era masa 60-an, sektor pelancongan masih belum mewujudkan peranan yang utama terhadap perkembangan ekonomi nusantara. Kerajaan pada ketika itu memberi tumpuan kepada sektor hasil bumi seperti bijih timah dan getah. Sektor hasil alam tersebut telah memberikan sebanyak 45% kepada keluaran Negara kasar (KNK) pada tahun 70-an.