Soon you may have to fork out as much as RM30 to get a haircut at a traditional Indian barbershop.

The warning was issued by the Malaysian Indian Hair Dressing Salon Owners Association (Mindas) yesterday, following the government's freeze on the hiring of foreign workers.

According to Mindas treasurer M Jeyakumar, the shortage of workers following the freeze, coupled with rising operation costs, will leave the association members with "no choice" but to increase prices.

"A freeze on foreign workers will result in the increase of prices.

"It is incorrect to state that our members are reluctant to employ local workers, but rather, local workers do not seem to show interest, thus imposing a high cost on our side," he told a press conference yesterday, adding that locals are offered up to RM2,000 monthly salaries for the job.

Mindas' efforts to hire locals with the help of the Labour Department and have also received little response, Jeyakumar lamented.

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.

Despite the government having already stopped issuing new foreign new worker permits since 2009, employers were still able to hire foreigners via the foreign workers' replacement scheme, which allows them to replace a foreign worker who had returned to their home country, with another, without going through an additional application process.

Jeyakumar, who claimed that 40% of Mindas members have shuttered down since 2016, said the association will submit a memorandum to Muhyiddin to urge a review of the hiring freeze decision.

He further urged the government to grant 2,000 foreign worker permits for Mindas, which has 718 registered members.

Source: The Star
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