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Last Updated:[16-02-2010 05:44:59 EDT] Zoom in Zoom out Back to Tradenews

Malaysia to Hire Foreigners for Custom-made Garment Industry

tradenews The rising demand for custom-made garments and lack of skilled domestic tailors are hampering the growth or even the existence of many tailoring shops in Malaysia. An industry head apprised The Star that about 2,000 traditional Indian tailor shops in the country were appealing to the Malaysian government to give the nod to hire foreigners as there was a shortage of skilled local workers.

The president of Malaysian Indian Business Association (MIBA) P Sivakumar told that it was imperative to relax visa regulations to tide over the growing demand for tailors as many shops were at the verge of shutting down. The inadequacy of sustainable skilled human resources in this field within the country was pointed out to be one of the major reasons for the shortage.

Sivakumar said currently most of the workers with traditional sewing skills were hired from India and Pakistan. He further added although most of these businesses preferred to hire Malaysians, there was a lack of local workers with the necessary skills.

Many representatives from the industry is understood to have approached the MIBA president on this issue as they feared any delay from the government in granting permission to hire foreigners would force them to close shop sooner or later. Sivakumar said “We want the government to consider their plight as it is a unique problem”.

The Malaysian government’s efforts to train locals to avoid jobs being lost to foreigners were futile following many prospects who were homemakers opted to work from home. Sivakumar said the government should consider long-term training programs to generate skilled workers within the country.

According to sources, the MIBA is preparing to present a memorandum to the Human Resources Ministry to resolve this issue, and there are also plans afoot to set up an Indian tailors’ association. The MIBA is a non-profit and non-governmental organization which facilitates entrepreneurial integration of the Malaysian Indians to the region.

By Jose Roy

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