Filipinos along with Indonesians will remain a key part of the plantation labor force in the agriculture sector in Malaysia-controlled Sabah.
Sabah Agriculture and Food Industries Minister Datuk Junz Wong said there are no plans to change their policy on Indonesian and Filipino workers.
He said that despite the labor shortage, the state would not be taking workers from other countries but to legalize Indonesian and Filipino workers to meet the needs of the plantation sector.
Also, he said he was unaware of any plans to bring in African workers to address the worker shortage in the plantation and agriculture sectors.
Wong said steps were being taken to legalize the illegal foreign workers existing within the plantations.
A five-month regularisation plan that began on April 1 aims to get workers, whose families are already in Sabah, to obtain necessary work passes and dependents’ passes.
“This process will ease the shortage, though it is slow,” said Wong.