Kuala Lumpur, May 23 : At least 600,000 job opportunities will be made available after the Ninth Malaysia Plan's mid-term review, to reduce the dependency on foreign workers by 2010.
There are at present 2.1 million foreign workers in the country, including workers employed in Sabah and Sarawak, the New Strait Times reports.
"We hope that by 2010, their number can be reduced by at least 500,000," Human Resources Minister Dr S. Subramaniam said yesterday.
He added this could be achieved through the implementation of programmes outlined in the government's blueprint on skilled training and human development programmes launched by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi early this month.
He said about 40,000 unemployed graduates had registered with the ministry's electronic labour bourse. Names of graduates would be deleted from the bourse's registry six months after they were employed.
Subramaniam was speaking after presenting excellent service awards to 475 ministry personnel at the Putrajaya International Convention Centre in Putrajaya.
On the Malaysian Indian Congress's appeal to the Public Service Department (PSD) for scholarships for 187 Malaysian Indian high achievers, Dr Subramaniam hoped that the party's "annual pilgrimage" to see the PSD director-general on the matter could be a thing of the past.
"We hope that starting this year, PSD could give positive answers to our request."
MIC president S. Samy Vellu had said only 72 Indian students were offered PSD scholarships so far.