Indian and Chinese restaurant owners want illegal foreign workers to be legalized

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Kuala Lumpur, Apr.9 (ANI): The group, consisting of seven associations representing Chinese and Indian restaurant owners as well as other businesses in the services industry, said they needed illegal foreign workers to be legalised, as their presence was required.

The Star quoted a spokesperson of the Tan Tong Heng Group, as saying that forcing the estimated 150,000 illegal immigrants currently "into the streets" would give rise to numerous social and security issues.

Tan, who is Pan Malaysia Koo Soo Restaurants and Chef Association deputy president, said there were 30,000 foreign workers currently employed without permits in Chinese restaurants and coffee shops alone. Another estimated 9,000 were working in Indian restaurants.

Tan believed that this represents about 30 percent of the total number of such workers employed in Chinese and Indian restaurants and coffee shops.

He was speaking to reporters at the MCA Public Services and Complaints Department at Wisma MCA here yesterday.

Malaysian Indian Restaurant Owners Association (Primas) president R. Ramalalingam Pillai, who was also at the press conference, said his members always try to hire Malaysians.

"But they tend to leave for better offers. We simply cannot afford to pay them that much," he said.

Tan said the associations handed a memorandum on the issue to Home Ministry special officer Armizan Mohd Ali on April 6 to be forwarded to Home Minister Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein. (ANI)

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