JOHOR BAHRU - More Johoreans and Malaysians from other states are expected to seek employment in Singapore in the coming months.
Johor Indian Muslim Entrepreneurs Association (Perusim) secretary Hussein Ibrahim said the strong Singapore currency was the main factor.
“Roti canai makers with at least five years of working experience are paid about S$80 (RM264) daily while those with less experience can easily command S$50 (RM165) daily for a 12-hour shift,’’ he said of those choosing to work in Singapore.
“Feedback from our members showed 80 per cent of their roti canai makers are now working at Indian restaurants in Singapore,” said Mr Hussein.
He added that most of them got their jobs through referrals from their Malaysian friends already working there.
Mr Hussein hoped that the new Federal Government would allow Indian Muslim eateries in Johor Bahru to hire workers from India and Indonesia.
“Without these workers, many restaurants might cease operations,’’ he said.
Johor South small and medium-sized enterprise adviser Teh Kee Sin said many Singaporeans shun 3D (dirty, dangerous and difficult) jobs, adding that the Singapore government would continue to rely on foreign workers for certain industries to keep its economy going.
He said skilled workers, especially Malaysians, were sought after by manufacturing companies in Singapore.
Mr Teh said most of them would work in Johor Bahru for a few years to gain the required skills before going to Singapore.
“Johor’s severe labour shortage has been going on for many years,’’ he said.
Johor Trucking Association president Novan Hing said the shortage of lorry drivers was also a long-term issue.
“During the pandemic, lorry drivers who were out of jobs switched to driving buses and also delivering parcels and food and many have not returned.
“Experienced drivers in Singapore can earn from S$3,000 monthly (RM9,900),” he added.
They were commenting on a report by Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower in December, which stated that 93.7 per cent of third-quarter employment growth involved non-residents.
The report stated that out of the 75,900 new jobs created in Q3 2022, 71,100 were attributed to non-residents and 4,800 to residents – Singaporeans and permanent residents.
Employment for residents was in financial and professional services as well as information and communications technology.
The majority of non-residents were employed in manufacturing and construction, food and beverage services as well as arts, entertainment and recreation. THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK