Johor feels strain of manpower crunch as Malaysians job hunt in Singapore for better pay

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The reopening of the Malaysia-Singapore border has resulted in some sectors of the economy in Johor being affected as Malaysians are seeking jobs in Singapore due to better pay when converted to ringgit.

Online news portal Free Malaysia Today (FMT) reported this morning that hotels in Johor are facing major manpower issues with workers opting to find a job in Singapore.

Johor Chapter of the Malaysian Association of Hotels, Ms Yvonne Loh, told FMT that manpower shortage is a problem experienced by almost all sectors currently.

“For hotels, most of them are operating with an average of 50 per cent workforce. Some cannot operate banquets and other functions at full capacity because they cannot cope,” she was quoted as saying.

Ms Loh said last week Resorts World in Singapore carried out a walk-in interview at a hotel to recruit workers for its casino in Sentosa.

She said the queues were long, which got Johor business operators worried.

She explained that hourly rates for casual workers had also gone up from RM5-RM6 to RM10, and interns from hotel training schools who used to be paid RM400 a month were being offered double the amount.

“News reports from Singapore say the food outlets there are facing a serious shortage of workers and are willing to pay Malaysians S$4,000 (RM12,646) monthly. Also, their hourly rates can go as high as S$28.

“This development is worrying as it will result in local businesses having no choice but to bring in foreign workers to keep them going,” she said.

Indah Cleaning Services CEO B. Ravinthran told FMT that the manpower situation was getting worse with some of his workers preferring to go to Singapore.

“They are being attracted by the high exchange rate. On top of this, Malaysians don’t want to do cleaning jobs even if I offer them RM100 a day as casual workers.

“It is getting tougher to find workers,” he was quoted as saying.

Malaysia fully reopened its international borders on April 1 after two years as the country’s transition to the endemic phase. MALAY MAIL


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