Businesses relying on Indian workers risk possible extinction due to the government's freeze on hiring of foreign workers.

According to Malaysia Nanban, among the worst hit are jewellers, textiles, traditional Indian barbershops, scrap metal business, and newspaper vendors.

The Tamil daily spoke to several newspaper distributors who lamented the shortage faced by the industry, due to the freeze, compounded by locals not taking up the job.

"The government allows foreign workers intake for hypermarkets, but forbids intake for smaller businesses.

"This causes Indian-owned businesses to suffer, and even risk going out of business," said the report.

The report added that many newspaper distributors nationwide who are badly hit by the freeze, are switching to other businesses to continue surviving.

"As it is, the print media is being threatened by the alternative media, and the lack of newspaper distributors will only further worsen the problem.

"Newspaper vendors have thus far carried out their duty diligently, come rain or shine, sickness or health, and this is the payback they get," read the report.

Previously, the Malaysian Indian Hair Dressing Salon Owners Association (Mindas) has warned that it may cost up to RM30 to get a haircut at a traditional Indian barbershop soon, due to the freeze of hiring foreign workers.

The freeze, coupled with rising operation costs, will leave the association members with "no choice" but to drastically increase prices, Mindas treasurer M Jeyakumar had warned.

Last August, Home Minister Muhyiddin Yassin announced that the government will bar foreigners from working in service sub-sectors such as laundry, textile, hair dressing and goldsmithing.

The move, aimed at benefiting the locals, will be enforced in stages from now until 2021, he had said.

Source: Malaysia Nanban
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