[JURIST] The Malaysian government is drafting legislation that will make it more difficult to hire foreign workers in an effort to stem the flow of illegal immigrants into the country, according to Tuesday media reports. Deputy Home Affairs Minister Datuk Tan Chai Ho [official website] told the Star that the legislation will likely contain heightened hiring requirements [Star report] and improved salary protections for foreigners. The legislation will also institute a reporting structure for foreigners to track changes in employment. According to Tan Chai Ho, the proposed measures will be aimed at stopping social and security problems associated with illegal immigrants and foreign workers.
Last week, Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi [BBC profile] said that the country must work to reduce Malaysia's dependency on foreign workers [press release] and likened the hiring of foreigners to an "addiction." In response to criticism that the new measures apply only to foreign workers, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said Tuesday that the proposed legislation also targets employers who violate foreign worker regulations [Star report]. AFP has more.