No More Foreign Cooks In Restaurants Starting 1 January 2019, Says Human Resource Minister

It is an effort to reduce the dependence of foreign labour.

Cover image via Adi Safri/Berita Harian

Restaurant operators have been urged to only hire locals as cooks beginning 1 July 2018

Image via Bernama via NST

Bernama reported Minister of Human Resources M. Kula Segaran as saying that all restaurant operators in the country would be given a six months grace period to ensure that all their cooks are locals.

"So we want locals to be employed as cooks. There will be no compromise... we are giving you notice to do it by 31 December. If you don't do it we can't help it," he told Bernama News Channel.

The new regulation which only permits locals to work as cooks at restaurants will come into full force on 1 January 2019

Photo for illustration purposes only.

Image via Kosmo

According to Kula Segaran, the move was made to reduce the dependence of local restaurants on foreign labour as well as to preserve the quality of local flavours.

The ministry's decision follows the footsteps of the Penang state government, which has been implementing a ban on foreign cooks at local hawker stores in the state since 2014.

It was reported that Kula Segaran would be organising more meetings with Indian Restaurant Operators Association (PRISMA) and the Indian Muslim Restaurant Operators Association (PRESMA) to discuss further on the issue.

Meanwhile, PRISMA president P. Muthusamy has reportedly described the move as shocking, saying that it would have major implications to operators

"In the past few years, we have been facing problems of manpower. In fact more than 500 restaurants had closed during the period due to shortage of workers," he said.

Muthusamy has expressed his hopes that more discussions will be held between the ministry and stakeholders such as food shop operators before the new regulation is implemented.

On the other hand, PRESMA president Ayub Khan also shed more light on the issue, saying that restaurant operators have been facing difficulty in recruiting local employees since they are reluctant to work in restaurants.

"We advertised, offering a salary of up to RM2,500 but no one came. It is not easy to find local workers for restaurants," he said, as reported by Bernama.

Watch M. Kula Segaran speak about the issue in the video below:

What do you think of the Human Resource Ministry's move to ban foreign cooks in local restaurants? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.


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