TAPAH: A new system – an identity card by sector – will be introduced to address the problem of foreign workers in the country switching sectors arbitrarily, says Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri M. Saravanan.

He said the high demand in the plantation sector, following the increase in palm oil prices, saw plantation owners willing to pay more, resulting in workers switching to the sector.

“This has caused some workers to switch to the sector, so now we are trying to resolve this problem,” he said when met by reporters after officiating the Perak Jaminkerja Keluarga Malaysia Career Carnival 2022 at the Tapah Youth and Sports Complex here yesterday.

He said the introduction of the identity card system according to the sector would also ensure that no employer misused employee registration, according to Bernama.

“Another problem I see is the levy rate for the agricultural sector is cheaper, which prompted many employers from different sectors to bring in foreign workers through the agricultural channel. By introducing the identity card system according to the sector, we can address this issue and it will also facilitate enforcement of the authorities, especially the Immigration Department and the police,” he said.

On Friday, Works Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof was reported to have said the increase in palm oil prices had attracted workers from other sectors and affected the construction sector after their workers moved to the plantation sector.

He said the effect of the labour shortage in the construction sector could be seen as there were projects that had been delayed in completion, including the Pan Borneo Highway.

Meanwhile, Saravanan said he was confident that the issue of delays in the entry of foreign workers into the country would be resolved by the end of this month and asked employers to be patient while waiting for the time-consuming process.

Earlier, on the Perak Jaminkerja Keluarga Malaysia Career Carnival which ended yesterday, he said a total of 8,615 vacancies were offered and a total of 374 individuals were interviewed as of Saturday.

“Of that number, 53 successfully secured jobs and 140 advanced to second-round interviews with 32 employers at this carnival,” he said.