The Malaysian government should relax restrictions on the hiring of expatriate workers by allowing smaller companies to hire them directly, an industry expat has advised.
Malaysian Indian Business Association president Mr Sivakumar said many firms were suffering as they did not have enough foreign workers. Businesses affected include restaurants, barbers, mini markets, goldsmiths, laundry shops and hair salons, he said.
An influx of foreign workers had brought problems when outsourcing companies were allowed to import workers, he explained.
"Many of them abused the system and brought in thousands of workers. When there was no work, they left the workers stranded at airports and plantations," he told The Star.
"Obviously, the workers, who had paid huge amounts of money to come here, then went into hiding and worked illegally," he said.
If businesses which require expatriate workers were allowed to deal directly with embassies and high commissions, the government would be better placed to deal with the illegal foreign worker problem, he noted.
People planning on moving to Malaysia for work could consider taking out expatriate medical insurance to help with healthcare bills.
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