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KUALA LUMPUR, June 24 — Consumer associations have called on the government to conduct a thorough planning and research before deciding on the use of local cooks only for restaurants in the country.

Muslim Consumers Association of Malaysia (PPIM) chief activist Datuk Nadzim Johan said although the association welcomed the proposal by the Human Resource Ministry, both the ministry and stakeholders should have a roundtable discussion first over the matter.

 “Most restaurants nowadays hire foreign cooks. For example, ‘mamak’ restaurant owners prefer those from India, while the cooks at eateries serving east coast cuisine are mostly from Thailand.

“Same goes for the Chinese restaurants and others, they would hire cooks from Vietnam, China and other countries,” he said when contacted by Bernama here today.

Nadzim was commenting on a statement by Human Resource Minister M. Kulasegaran on June 22 who called restaurants serving Malaysian food to hire only locals as cooks from Jan 1.

He said the proposal would be able to reduce dependence of local restaurants on foreign labour, but the ministry should also consider the appropriate salary for local cooks and costs to be borne by the operators.

“Hygiene problem among foreign cooks has become an issue of late. The authorities have to address the issue in a stern manner because it involves public health. Another issue to be noted is that there are cooks who do not have valid documents such as passports, work permits and so on,” he said.

Consumer Association of Subang and Shah Alam (CASSA) president Datuk Dr Jacob George said the ministry should not make a hasty decision without holding negotiation with those involved in restaurant business.

“The dumping of foreign cooks is nothing new. Most restaurant operators do not have a choice but to hire foreign cooks due to (cheap) wages, cooking skills and so on,” he said, adding that quite a number of locals are not interested in the job. — Bernama


Artikel Oleh : MALAY MAIL