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2152) ARKIB BERITA PPIM – 9/10/2014 THE EDGE MALAYSIA – Fear of Unchecked Inflows of Unskilled Labour Post-AEC is Unfounded, says Mustapa
21 Oct 2014

KUALA LUMPUR (Oct 8) : The fear of uncontrolled inflows of
unskilled labour flooding the local market upon the realisation of the Asean
Economic Community (AEC) is unfounded as the movement of unskilled labour is
subject to the respective countries’ labour laws, said International Trade and
Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed.

It is unlike skilled labour, he said, “where mutual
recognition arrangements have been signed for [some] professions, including
engineering services, architecture, accountancy and nursing and medical

Mustapa was speaking in response to concerns about the
potential influx of unskilled migrant workers and employment barriers that
might still exist upon Asean’s integration by 2015 that were raised during an
interactive session with civil society organisations that was held by his
ministry on the AEC and its post-2015 direction, today.

Malaysia will be taking the chair of Asean with the task of
leading the preparation for Asean’s direction post-2015.

“From 2007 till today, the labour force was not given a
roadmap towards AEC in 2015. There is a fear that as much as we see the
emphasis on investment and business, [the benefits] will not filter down to the
workforce,” said National Union of Bank Employees general secretary J Solomon.

He noted that professionals would tend to be more attracted
to pursuing opportunities in more developed countries, exacerbating talent
shortage issues in less-developed countries.

Human rights issues such as the treatment of migrant workers
in Malaysia and the ethnic cleansing of Rohingyas in Myanmar were also raised.

“We would like to see more affirmative actions to protect
and solve the problem, where Muslim Rohingyas find it hard to seek refuge under
UN protection. Asean needs to put more pressure on Myanmar to stop ethnic
cleansing,” said
Persatuan Pengguna Islam Malaysia activist Abdul Kareem.

On a separate matter, Mustapa told the press on the
sidelines of the session that Malaysia is set to achieve an increase in total
trade growth of 6% this year.

“We believe that our trade performance will be better than last
year’s 4.7% growth. We’re expecting it to be at about 6%, so there’s a slight
increase in total trade growth,” he said.

Mustapa added that while the recent removal of fuel
subsidies – which has resulted in the increase of petrol prices by 20 sen per
litre – has been unpopular with the Malaysian public, but it remains necessary
for the long term financial health of the country.

Credit : http://www.theedgemalaysia.com/business-news/310813-fear-of-unchecked-inflows-of-unskilled-labour-post-aec-is-unfounded-says-mustapa.html