KUANTAN: The Government will examine concerns about the shortage of foreign workers but Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak wants the private sector to look at the long-term effects of relying on foreign labour.
Najib said there were areas the Government could help with, but the private sector had to bear in mind the need to be competitive in the long term.
â€œIf you can use technology like robotics and automation, you can increase productivity while reducing the need for foreign workers.
â€œI would like companies in the private sector to place greater emphasis on productivity in the years to come because we need to compete at a much higher level,â€ he said at the opening of the Associated Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry Malaysia’s (ACCCIM) 70th annual general meeting here yesterday.
Najib added that the only way the country could take advantage of free trade agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement was to increase productivity.
On ACCCIMâ€™s concerns on the implementation of the Price Control and Anti-Profiteering Act, Najib said this would be looked into as it should not make it difficult for businesses to operate in Malaysia.
â€œSometimes, bureaucrats tend to over-regulate. They do have good intentions sometimes but if it impedes businesses from functioning and makes it more onerous, then I donâ€™t think it is the right way.
â€œWe must make it easier to do business and the laws must also facilitate that objective,â€ said Najib, adding that he would raise ACCCIMâ€™s memorandum in the next Cabinet meeting.
Najib also said he was committed to reducing corporate tax and personal income tax in the long term but needed to ensure the GovernÂment could sustain the move.
â€œJust like a business, the GovernÂment functions the same way. Imagine going to a bank and trying to borrow money to pay wages. You know what the bankers will say? They will not give you the money.
â€œEven if they can give you the money, they know your business will not be sustainable,â€ he said.
On Barisan Nasionalâ€™s wins in the recent by-elections and the Sarawak election, Najib believed that the Chinese community had broken through the â€œpsychological barrierâ€ and was now willing to support Barisan.
However, he also believed there were still many who did not belong to any political party and would contribute to the swing factor in the next general election.
Najib said the people had to realise the divided and fractured Opposition had no clear objective and was led by individuals of dubious personalities.
â€œI think what you want is stability and a government that cares for you and listens to your needs. I will do my best to support all communities.
â€œIf there is any inadequacy, please let me know. I donâ€™t believe we can get everything right but tell us how we can do better.
â€œI will listen. I donâ€™t talk too much like one of my predecessors but I do listen,â€ he said.
Present were Chinese AmbassaÂdor to Malaysia Dr Huang Huikang and Pahang Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Adnan Yaakob.