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Rafidah slams Putrajaya foreign labour flip-flop

Published:  |  Modified:

Former minister Rafidah Aziz today slammed Putrajaya for its decision to freeze the recruitment of foreign labour barely 24 hours after it had signed an agreement to take in 1.5 million Bangladeshi workers.

“All sorts of debate arose (over the Bangladeshi workers issues) where some supported, opposed and others made fun out of it.

“Then came the signing of agreement yesterday, where 1.5 million Bangladesh workers are expected to come in three years' time.

“The ink on the agreement was barely dry […] now the freeze on recruitment of all foreign workers with immediate effect,” she said in a Facebook post.

“What has happened?” asked Rafidah who was popularly known as the 'Iron Lady' during her tenure as international trade and industry minister.

“Didn't they scrutinise every proposal, decision or policy before it is announced?” she asked.

She also wanted to know if the government spoke with the relevant parties to take into account their views and look into the implications from all aspects.

“For instance, the economic, social and security impacts as well as the cost implications for the country,” she said.

Such government policy flip-flops would only erode public confidence, she said.

Unnecessary burden

“The private (sector) will be confused and restless. It is very hard for them to accept anything the government says (in the future). A major issue will become an unnecessary burden,” she added.

Rafidah was commenting on the announcement by Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi today that the intake of all foreign labour was frozen with immediate effect.

It came barely 24 hours after the government had signed a memorandum of understanding with Bangladesh which will see up to 1.5 million workers being brought over the the next three years.

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