The government is willing to give restaurant owners leeway to hire foreign cooks, but only for the purpose of preparing traditional dishes from their countries of origin, if necessary.
Deputy Human Resource Minister Mahfuz Omar said this was on the understanding that some of the dishes were not Malaysian traditional food, and needed to be cooked by chefs from the country of origin of the dishes to preserve the authenticity and taste.
“For example, if you go to an Indian restaurant, they must have native Indian cuisine and original dishes from their country, which only natives from there know how to cook,” he said after launching [email protected] Peringkat Daerah Kota Setar/Pokok Sena here today.
However, Mahfuz said for this purpose, it was proposed that only head cooks be allowed to be hired from foreign countries, while the cook’s assistants must be from among locals.
“The government always gives a little leeway, but we must encourage that the cook’s other assistants are locals so that they can learn from the foreign cook, but if preparing Malaysian cuisine why must we hire a foreign cook,” he said.
Mahfuz, however, insisted that for the time being all matters relating to the recruitment of foreign cooks remain a proposal, as long as it has not been finalised.
On Wednesday, Mahfuz said the government had commissioned the Institute of Labour Market Information and Analysis (ILMIA) to study the issue, saying a final decision would only be known in October.
‘AES decision appropriate’
Commenting on the Automated Enforcement System (AES) issue, Mahfuz who was previously known to be quite vocal against the system, said the government's decision authorising the Road Transport Department (JPJ) to take over all AES operations was very appropriate.
Yesterday, Transport Minister Anthony Loke Siew Fook announced the cancellation of all AES summonses issued since 2012 which involved 3.1 million summonses with a total value of about RM435 million.
In Pokok Sena, Mahfuz also told students who did not excel academically to hone their skills at training institutions in the country as it also ensures a good future for them, adding that there were opportunities aplenty because the country was now in the era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution that requires a highly skilled workforce.
He said this at the Higher Education Institution Early Assistance Programme in the constituency, which was attended by nearly 200 students with offers to enter the institutions, who received early cash aid.