Johor PKR’s Jimmy Puah says automation is one way to boost productivity and create jobs for locals

JOHOR BARU: It is irresponsible of the government to contemplate allowing export-oriented companies to hire 100% foreign workers when the country’s dependence on foreign labour is already at an alarming rate, a Johor PKR leader said today.

Johor PKR deputy chairman Jimmy Puah Wee Tse said the government should instead be exploring ways to provide jobs for the growing number of unemployed graduates in the country.

“The way forward (in production line) is changing to automation and not by working manually, with foreign workers currently dominating these jobs.

“The government should help and encourage key industry players to upgrade their manufacturing line to make it fully operational by local workers,” Puah said.

The Bukit Batu assemblyman said that some of the foreign workers that came into country have settled here and some have even ventured into business.

“In 2015, foreigners transferred RM35 billion back to their countries of origin. This is the official figure; if we add with the unofficial figures the sum would be higher and shocking.

“Imagine if the RM35 billion is circulated in our local economy, our economy and ringgit would be stronger, unlike now,” added Puah.

Deputy Home Minister Nur Jazlan Mohamed on Tuesday said that export-oriented companies may be allowed to employ an all-foreign production force to meet current and future product demands.

Nur Jazlan said these companies need to constantly increase their production capacity to remain competitive globally.

“I think these companies should be assisted in upgrading their status not only as champion at the national level but also international level,” the Pulai lawmaker was quoted as saying by Bernama.