ID :
Mon, 05/11/2009 - 16:49
Auther :


JOHOR BAHARU (Malaysia), May 11 (Bernama) -- More than 1,500 Sarawakians
working in Singapore have been retrenched in the past few months following the
global economic crisis which caused the island state's economy to shrink 19.7
per cent in the first quarter of this year.

Some of the retrenched workers have sought jobs in factories around Johor
Baharu, while some remain unemployed and live on their savings and others
have to return to their respective hometowns.

"Most of them were involved in the oil and gas industry as scaffholders and
welders," United Dayak Iban Organisation Malaysia chairman Sai Melaka told
Bernama Sunday.

He said about 800 of the workers had yet to return to Sarawak, an East
Malaysia state, as they were
optimistic about Johor's economy following the foreign direct investments coming
into the state which would create vast job opportunities for them.

Sai said workers with at least 10 years of experience in their respective
fields could contribute towards the development of Johor, especially in the
Iskandar Malaysia.

Unfortunately, he said, 60 per cent of the workers did not have any
certificates and this would hamper in grabbing the available opportunities
in the development region.

Thus, the organisation, which looks after the welfare of Sarawakians
especially the Ibans, hoped that the Johor government would give them places in
the vocational training scheme introduced early this year for retrenched

Sai also urged the state government to take in workers from other states to
work in the Iskandar Malaysia instead of recruiting
foreign workers.

"Of course foreign labour may be cheap but we have to think of the welfare
of our own rakyat first. Furthermore, the money will be spent in the country and
will spur the economy, not remitted to other countries like when you employ
foreign workers," he said.