Furniture Industry Hit By Malaysia Foreign Worker Freezeadminemanpower
The serious shortage of labour in Malaysia has caused 14 furniture manufacturers in Johor to close shop lately. According to Malaysian Furniture Council president Chua Chun Chai, the furniture industry in the peninsula is facing a shortfall of some 35,000 workers, Sin Chew Daily reported today.
Commenting on the message, “Stop recruitment of foreign workers = end of the industry”, on the banner unfurled by about 300 furniture makers and workers in Bakri, Muar, over the weekend to protest the government’s freeze on the hiring of foreign workers, Chua said such an end result was only natural.
Speaking to the daily on Sunday, Chua said the foreign worker recruitment freeze had dealt a heavy blow to the foreign labour-intensive industry.
The hardest-hit states are Johor, Selangor and Penang which together produce 95% of the total furniture the country exports, he said, adding that the biggest markets for Malaysian furniture are the US, Japan, China, Australia, the UK, India and United Arab Emirates.
“Last year, Malaysia’s furniture export hit RM9 billion, which was 14.1% more than the 2014 figure.
“If not for the freeze on recruitment of foreign workers, we were looking at breaching the RM10 billion mark this year. But with a shortage of labour we are facing, the export is expected to shrink greatly.
“As such, the council is appealing to both the prime minister and deputy prime minister to look into our predicament seriously,” he said.
The government should not only lift the freeze, but also allow furniture makers to hire Bangladeshi workers as they are known to be more hardworking and are willing to work longer term than their peers from Nepal and Cambodia, said Chua.
News Source: The Sun Daily