Media Statement by Johor DAP Publicity Secretary and Senai State Assemblyman Wong Shu Qi on 24th May 2017 (Wednesday) in Johor Bahru:
The state government must come clean about the confusing labour statistics
The state government must come clean about the confusing labour statistics given to public in different occasions. In the reply given to me on four China mega property developments in Johor Bahru, there were 1,082 Employment Passes (EP )and 546 Professional Visit Passes (PVP) being issued.
|Project||Employment Pass||Professional Visit Pass|
|1||Greenland Jade Palace||15||0|
|2||R&F Princess Cove||223||21|
|3||Country Garden Danga Bay and Forest City||844||525|
Human Resources Minister Richard Riot revealed in the parliament sitting on April 6 that there were 2,146 EP issued nationwide by 31st December 2016. In other words, the four mega projects in Johor Bahru consisted of 50% of the EP which Home Ministry issued nationwide. We must not forget that two out of the three categories of EP require the applicant to have a monthly salary not less than RM5000.
In addition, Country Garden Danga Bay and Forest City stand out as the top two projects which employ the largest number of EP holders. Their employees consist of 81% of the total number of pass holders. At the same time, Country Garden announced in March that under the Forest City project, the company have 600 employees with 75% of them being Malaysians under Forest City project.
The statistic is hence very confusing to public. If Forest City does employ locals for 75% out of their 600 workers, then the Danga Bay project itself employs more EP holders than the total number of workers in Forest City.
On the other hand, Country Garden has even overtaken its two other China counterparts in applying for Professional Visit Pass (PVP). While Greenland has gotten none of such working permit, and R&F has only 21 PVPs, Country Garden has 546 PVPs. There is no statistics available publicly on how many PVPs the Home Ministry issues every year, but the discrepancy among the three China property developers makes us curious if there were foul play in the granting of PVPs.
In the answer given to me, Vidyanathan stated that there were only 106 Visit Passes (Temporary Employment) issued to the main contractor of Forest City. Judging by the scale of all four projects, the number given just does not make sense.
While we always insist that the government must impose stricter regulation on low skill migrant workers and be ready to open up to skilled migrant workers to make Malaysia a place which attracts foreign talents, we must not forget that local should always be given the priority when it comes to job opportunity.
It is therefore very disappointing that the Johor Menteri Besar condones the culture of certain investors who made migrant workers work for 7 days a week where he even complimented such behaviours in his speech. He also accepted the fact that certain investors just want to employ workers from their own country due to the language barriers. He has also committed to assist these developers to expedite their projects and lower their costs.
As a lawmaker, it is beyond doubt that I hope for my state Johor to be developed with ever more investments. Yet, we must make sure that all legal requirements are adhered to by the foreign investors. More importantly, investors must bring in business and job opportunities for local and not only benefit their own countrymen and big businesses locally.
Wong Shu Qi