KOTA KINABALU: Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi wants local skilled workers to fill up the 1.5 million job opportunities in the various sectors to be created in the country by the year 2020 to reduce the country’s dependency on foreign workers.
The Deputy Prime Minister said 60 per cent of the employment need to be created required skilled technical and vocational labour force.
“We are capable of optimising skilled labour force and not depending on foreign workers. Priority should be given to local workers, and the local work force must be given adequate salary so that they can contribute towards national development,” he said.
Ahmad Zahid said this in his speech at the 45th National Level Teachers’ Day celebration at the Universiti Malaysia Sabah campus, here today. Also present were Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman, Education Minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid, Director-General of Education Datuk Seri Dr Khair Mohamad Yusof and Sabah Director of Education Maimunah Suhaibul.
Ahmad Zahid said reducing dependency on the foreign workers could prevent the negative effects from the entry of foreign workers into the country such as the spread of communicable diseases such as leprosy, tuberculosis, elephantiasis and so on.
He said that previously, communicable diseases such as leprosy and tuberculosis were almost non-existent in this country, but now they had reappeared.
In addition, Ahmad Zahid said the other problem brought about by the foreign workers was an increase in the cost of treatment at government hospitals.
He said that up to April alone, the total bill for treatment at government hospitals that had yet to be settled by the foreign nationals stood at RM110 million.