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M'sian state upset over S'pore bar on U-35 workers

Publication Date : 11-09-2012


A ruling barring native males from Malaysian state of Sabah who are aged between 18 and 35 years from working in Singapore has taken state officials, politicians and NGOs here by surprise.

They said the ruling was unfair and questioned why the ban targeted males from the state's ethnic communities.

State Assistant Minister of Social Services Herbert Timbon Lagadan said the Singapore government appeared to be imposing a blanket ban due to the actions of a few individuals.

While he acknowledged that there were instances of one or two youths from his northern Kadaimaian state constituency flouting the law, he said there was no justification to impose a complete ban.

United Pasok Momogun Kadazan-dusun Murut Organisation (Upko) secretary-general Wilfred Tangau said the ruling appeared to be politically motivated as the issue of the large number of foreign workers was a talking point in Singapore elections.

A Kadazandusun Cultural Association official said it was unfair to generalise the problem to a particular group of people.

In Kuching, Assistant Minister in the Chief Minister's Department (Promotion of Technical Education) Len Talif Salleh said Sarawak had ample employment opportunities for the people.

He added that with the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy developing rapidly, more workers ranging from skilled to semi-skilled were needed in the state.

“We hope more Sarawakians will come back with their experience and expertise and help develop these industries,” he said.

Deputy Tourism Minister Dr James Dawos Mamit said a person would not commit a wrongdoing unless provoked.

“Maybe they were not paid well or were under pressure. Being young, they can be easily provoked,” he added.


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