‘More flexible quota for foreign workers’

National 2 minutes, 1 second

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

A LEGISLATIVE Council (LegCo) member yesterday proposed for a more flexible quota for foreign workers so Brunei can adopt a pro-business environment.

Yang Berhormat Hj Awang Ahmad Morshidi Pehin Orang Kaya Digadong Seri Diraja Dato Laila Utama Hj Awang Abdul Rahman during the 12th Legislative Council (LegCo) session said training for locals in the non-oil and gas industries are not on par with that of the oil and gas industry.

He said if the country is to reform into a more pro-business environment, there will be a lot of interest from both local and foreign businesses.

YB Hj Awang Ahmad Morshidi however pointed out that locals are not fully trained.

The LegCo member noted that the number of locals working for the government has reached over 63,000.

“If businesses in the country are to contribute to the gross domestic product (GDP), how can businesses manufacture products to be marketed when there is limited local manpower?” he said.

“With this complication, it would affect production and quality. The country will also lose out because the rules on getting more workers is tight,” the LegCo member added.

YB Hj Awang Ahmad Morshidi said this is why there needs to be flexibility in the allowance of worker quotas (for foreign workers).

In response to the trainings needed, Minister of Home Affairs YB Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Kerna Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Hj Awg Abu Bakar Hj Apong said MoHA – through the Local Employment and Workforce Development Agency (APTK) – has a few programmes that aim to help Bruneian employers and jobseekers acquire the required skills.

Launched in 2011, the training and employment scheme (SLP) aims to provide locals with work experience in the private sector through on-the-job training.

Regarding the foreign labour quotas, YB Pehin Dato Hj Awg Abu Bakar said freezing of labour quota has been implemented but the labour department will consider (exceptions) from time to time, according to the plans or projects that are in progress.

In the same session, YB Hj Awang Ahmad Morshidi also suggested for the national storage area in Jalan Gadong to be rented out to successful companies which supply materials and machineries to government agencies.

He said that he had observed the national storage area to be empty.

He suggested that the vacant area can instead be rented out to companies to reduce the government’s spending on the store’s management, pests control and such.

The Brunei Times