1.9 Million foreign workers in Malaysia

The Home Ministry says A total number of 1.99 million foreign workers in Malaysia were registered under the Temporary Visiting Work Permit (Pas Lawatan Kerja Sementara) as on Aug 31, 2019, as per News portal The Edge Markets

“A foreign worker is a person who works in a country where he is not a citizen.”

How many Foreign Workers are there in Malaysia based on their countries of origin;

Statista published Number of migrant workers in Malaysia in 2017, by country of origin.

In 2017, there were approximately 0.72 million Indonesian migrant workers working in Malaysia.

Indonesian workers are the highest with 728,870, followed by

Nepali foreign workers – 405,898,

Bangladeshi foreign Workers – 221,089,

Myanmar foreign workers – 127,705,

Indian foreign workers 114,455,

Pakistani foreign workers around 59,281,

Philippines foreign workers – 56,153,

Vietnamese foreign workers – 29,039,

Chinese foreign workers – 15,399, respectively.

and Neighbouring Thailand has only 12,603 foreign workers in the country

while Sri Lanka has 5,964 migrant workers, Cambodia has 5,103 and Laos has 39 workers.

The Legalization Programme REHIRING PROGRAMME was opened up from 15 Feb 2016 until 31 Dec 2017 for illegal immigrants from 15 source countries.

“This programme aims to give opportunities to illegal immigrants working in Malaysia to be given legal working permits and enter the permitted sectors,” the ministry replied in a statement.

Distribution of Foreign Workers Population 2017

“As on, August 2017, Malaysia has approximately 1.9 million foreign workers spread across sectors such as;Distribution of Labour in malaysia

  • Manufacturing (706,502),
  • Construction (429,552),
  • Plantation (268,203),
  • Domestic maids (House) (130,450),
  • Agriculture (150,003)

“A news report notes that a survey conducted by the federation showed that up to 84% of factories are facing manpower shortages and potential loss of revenue”.
Number of Foreign Workers in Malaysia

In Malaysia’s furniture industry alone, reputed to be one of the largest in the world, a shortage of 27,000 workers has seen monthly shipments declining by more than 28% – The Straits Times.

According to Human Resources Research Center :

It is estimated that about 1.3 million construction workers were needed at  throughout the Peninsular Malaysia.

Skilled shortage of workers in  construction industry in Malaysia has negatave effects on the Malaysian Economy

“We still face acute shortage and we urgently need more foreign workers”

But there is no mention of how many immigrants are employed in Service Sector?

So when we look towards source countries for the migrant workers, bringing in the skilled people matters the most.

Immigration Department Director-General Datuk Seri Mustafar Ali Says;

Employers could hire foreign workers through the programme.

“As of February 2018, there are a total of 1,758,238 workers who are still employed. As per the statistic, a total of 71,515 workers serve in the restaurant sector.

Datuk Khairul Dzaimee Daud said, “A total of 474 illegal immigrants and four employers have been detained so far in the big-sweep on illegals nationwide as on 03 Jan 2020”.

The Immigration Department director-general said 124 enforcement operations were conducted since Wednesday (Jan 1, 2020), with 1,871 foreigners checked.

“Of those detained;

Indonesians were the highest with 220,

followed by China nationals (89),

Bangladesh (78), Myanmar (42), the Philippines (22) and others.

“A total of 190,471 illegal immigrants have registered for the B4G programme.

Industries require more Foreign Workers

Business like Construction, Infrastructure Projects, Roads and Building Development, Manufacturing Units, Production Units, Hotels, Resorts, Golf Course, Restaurants, Malls, Food Courts, Warehouses, Supermarkets, Hospitals, Security Agencies require more Workers for their smooth functioning.


Malaysia Estimates the-Number of Foreign Workers
The Star Online