Riot: First batch of Cambodian workers to arrive on June 1

Riot (right) with Dr Ith Samheng during the press comference. — Bernama photo

PUTRAJAYA: The first batch of foreign workers from Cambodia who have undergone pre-departure training is expected to arrive on June 1, said Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri Richard Riot Jaem.

He said the batch of workers would meet the demands in six sectors, namely manufacturing, construction, plantation, services, agriculture and foreign maids.

“The number of workers we will receive is still undecided because it depends on the Cambodian government,” he said after a bilateral meeting with Cambodia’s  Labour and Vocational Training Minister Dr Ith Samheng, here yesterday.

Riot said the recruitment of foreign workforce from Cambodia was implemented in line with the processes and procedures set under the memorandum of understanding signed between the two countries on Dec 10, 2015.

During the meeting, he said both governments agreed that the recruitment mechanisms in the six sectors were through a registered private employment agencies that was registered in Malaysia and Cambodia.

Riot said the pre-departure training programme, in accordance with the  modules set by the Department of Skills Development, was aimed at providing basic knowledge on language and communication, legislation and culture of Malaysian society.

He said Cambodian workers and maids who passed the pre-departure training programme would receive a certificate of eligibility issued by the Department of Skills Development.

“The certificate is a prerequisite to allow Cambodian workers and domestic maids to obtain a calling visa before being permitted to work in Malaysia,” he said.

He said currently there are 4,402 registered Cambodian workers in Malaysia with 1,605 of them working in the six sectors.

The memorandum of understanding between Malaysia and Cambodia outlines the responsibilities of the stakeholders, namely employers, foreign workers and maids as well as private employment agencies in both countries  through the standard employment contracts to safeguard the interests and welfare of Cambodian workers and employers in Malaysia.

Meanwhile Samheng said the one-month long pre-departure training programme was crucial to ensure workers sent to Malaysia were of high quality.

“Regarding the estimated number of workers to be sent to Malaysia, we cannot answer now because it depends on the market demand,” he said.

Riot, who also commented on the agreement between the Malaysian Association of Foreign Maid Agencies (Papa) and Cambodia Labour and Vocational Training Ministry on the recruitment of foreign maids from Cambodia, said it was not recognised by the Malaysian government.

He said Papa had never informed the ministry about the agreement that contravened the Private Employment Agencies (Amendment) Act 2017 for causing monopoly in the recruitment of Cambodian maids.

“Samheng has also expressed his consent to the Cambodia Labour and Vocational Training Ministry to review the agreement.

“I raised this issue at the bilateral meeting just now because the ministry cannot allow an agency to monopolise the intake of Cambodian foreign maids,” he added.

He said there were over 1,000 foreign maid recruitment agencies in Malaysia and they should also be given the opportunity to recruit foreign maids from Cambodia. — Bernama