Foreign workers or so called as immigrants in Malaysia have contributed a big effort in all sectors. Most of the immigrants are working in construction site. This can be seen from the graph that construction sector has the highest GDP. The second high GDP comes from manufacturing sector, following by mining and quarrying, and the last but not least, agriculture sector. The intake of foreign workers has helped these sectors to perform well every year. Hence, this has made those sectors to have a high dependency levels on immigrants workers. The GDP of these sectors will change according to the change of the number of immigrants in Malaysia.
3.4 Illegal Immigrants in Malaysia
Malaysia comprises a substantial portion of the population, numbering as many as two million by some estimates. Most of them are from nearby countries such as and the . Illegal migrants tend to take odd jobs unpalatable to the local populace, such as working in and agricultural sectors. (Wikipedia, Illegal Immigrants in Malaysia, 29 July 2010)
4.0 South Africa
4.1 Gross Domestic Product (GDP) from 2000 to 2009
Please refer to Attachment 3.0. The GDP is increasing since year 2000 to 2009. All the while in these ten years, the GDP shows a positive change. Although a global economic recession happened in year 2008 and 2009, the GDP still increase for 0.75%.
4.2 Number of Immigrants, Unemployment and Crime Incidents
As shown in Attachment 3.1, the number of immigrants in South Africa increases rapidly in year 2000 to 2004. There was 36.86% of increase in number of immigrants from year 2000 to 2001.
4.3 Illegal Immigrants in South Africa
There are an estimated 5 million of illegal immigrants, which composed of roughly 10% of the total population of South Africa. There are three categories of undocumented migrants. They could be those who enter South Africa without valid documents, or those who enter the country legally but have overstayed. Another category refers to refugees and asylum seekers. In year 2007, there were 201,601 refugees and asylum seekers residing in this country.
4.4 Analysis on Data
Graph 3: Malaysia’s GDP, Population, Unemployment and Crime Incidents
Since no complete data and figures can be found, we can only make comparison on two years, which is year 2003 and 2004. The GDP has increased from 1,272,537 R million to 1,415,273 R million in year 2004. During the period of time, the population has increased by 1.17%. At the same time, the number of documented immigrants has increased 1.27%. However, the unemployment rate has decreased 11.41%. This kind of scenario is very unlikely to be seen.
5.0 Country Dependency Level on Foreign Workers
5.1 Japan Dependency Level on Foreign Worker
As shown in table==, the number of immigrants in Japan has increased very rapidly, from 1,556,113 in year 1999 to 2,200,000 in year 2008. It shows a 29.27% of increase in these ten years.
A report released by The Ministry of Health, Labour and welfare at 15 March 2007, state that the number of foreign labours who are directly employed by Japanese companies has reached a higher record. 27,323 companies reported employing foreign workers.
Graph 4: Number of Foreign Workers at Japanese Companies, 1997-2006
As shown in Graph --, the number of foreign workers increase rapidly especially from year 2003 to year 2006. 52.5% of the workers were employed at automakers, appliance makers and other manufacturers. (Number of foreign workers at Japanese companies hits record high: Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, Ken Worsley). It shows that the manufacturing sector of Japanese companies rely very much on the foreign labours.
Furthermore, in a book called Local.Citizenship in Recent Countries of Immigration: Japan in Comparative Perspective, clearly state that “Since the 1980’s, the number of migrants foreign workers in Japan has increased steadily and many observers expect Japan’s dependence on foreign labour to increase in the future…Over the past two decades, the Japanese government has opened the door to larger categories of foreign skilled workers in an effort to induce new corporate activities and professional services.”(Takeyuki Tsuda, Local Citizenship in Recent Countries of Immigration: Japan in Comparative Perspective, Pg 43)
5.1.1 If There Are No Immigrants in Japan
Japan is well known as a country that has a lot of foreign immigrants. Japan government encourages the inflow of foreign immigrants very much. It is because the quick development of the economic condition of the country relies on the contribution of them very much. If all immigrants were being sent back to their own country, it will cause a direct negative impact to Japan’s economy.
5.2 Malaysia Dependency Level on Foreign Workers
Recently, a serious issue has been identified in Malaysia; it is heavy dependency on foreign labours. The foreign labour forces are from Indonesia, Bangladesh, Nepal, Myanmar, Vietnam and China. Total foreign workers rose from 4% of total employment in 1990 to about 10.7% in 1997 and 9% in 2001. As at July 2004, there are about 1.3 million registered foreign workers, constituting 12% of total employment in the country. (Foreign Workers and the Malaysian Economy, Extracted From The Economic Report 2004/2005, Ministry Of Finance Malaysia) There are approximate of 1.9 million of foreign workers residing in Malaysia in year 2010. They are very important to the nation’s manufacturing and agriculture sectors. As shown in table below, economy in Malaysia is very much depends on them.
Chart 1: Involvement of Foreign Workers in Malaysia
(Source: Asrul Abdullah Sani, Foreign Worker Levy hike in 2011, 20 May 2010)
“Undoubtedly, foreign workers have contributed to the rapid growth of the economy. In the manufacturing sector, foreign workers not only helped to alleviate the problem of labour scarcity but also kept labour costs relatively low. This enabled producers to maintain their competitiveness against other low-cost producing countries. In times of recession, they also served as a buffer and helped to maintain a relatively low level of unemployment. Foreign workers also contributed to increasing domestic demand through their expenditure on food, transport and other consumption items.” (Lai Yew Wah, Business Times, Reducing Dependency on Foreign Labour, 28 July 2010)
A report called Proposals on Strategies to Reduce Reliance on Foreign Workers- the Workers’ Perspective (http://www.mtuc.org.my/reduce-reliance-foreign-worker07.pdf), states down sectors that need to depend on foreign workers. Majority of domestic helpers is composed by foreigners because the locals are not prepared to work for 12 to 16 hours seven days a week with only RM400 to RM500 of salary per month. Furthermore, owner of restaurants always recruit foreigners as restaurant waiters and cleaners. They have long working hours per day, without annual leave and earning very less salary.
Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin says that “If there is need which local labour cannot satisfy and our economy will be affected, the government will still allow foreign workers to come in to help the economy.” (Asrul Hadi Abdullah Sani, Foreign Worker Levy Hike in 2011, 20 may 2010) Since the supply of local workers is very limited, many business owners would rather employ foreign workers.
5.2.1 If There Are No Foreign Labours in Malaysia
Since Malaysia rely on foreign immigrants very much to fulfill the employment need, we cannot imagine how bad the economic will be when Malaysia is having zero immigrants. Without their contribution to the economic, GDP will decline tremendously. The decrease in GDP will cause low productivity due to the shortage of labour force. Therefore, employment rate will decrease and unemployment rate will increase.
5.3 South Africa Dependency Level on Foreign Workers
Graph 5: Percentage Distribution of Documented Immigrants to South Africa, 2003
Source: Documented Migration 2003, Report No. 03-51-03(2003)
In year 2003, there were only 9.6% of the total immigrants were economically active, contributing to the GDP. However, majority of the immigrants in South Africa were not economically active, contributing zero the economy. From those who had active participation in the economy, 477 of them were in professional category, 416 in managerial category, 3.9 % in During 2003 out of the 10 578 persons granted permanent immigration status, 1 011 (9,6%) were economically active, while 9 567 (90.4%) were not economically active. Of the economically active documented immigrants 499 (4.7%) were in the professional category, followed by 416 (3.9%) in the managerial category.
5.3.1 If There Is No Foreign Immigrant in South Africa
As what we can see from the table, the economy does not depend much on the immigrants. Therefore, when there are no immigrants in South Africa, the unemployment will be reduced. It seems to be a benefit for the economy of South Africa. A leader in Ramaphosa, Thapelo Mgoqi says that the locals want all these foreigners to go back to their own lands. Samantha Duplessis, 23, a woman of mixed race says that she has been looking for job for four years, but all the employers want to hire foreigners. Many complaints on. foreign immigrants are found within the locals: they commit crimes They hold jobs that others deserve. (Berry Bearak and Celia W. Dugger, South Africans Take out Rage on Immigrants, 20 May 2008)
6.0 Factors of the Trend of Immigrants
The trends of immigrants mean the changes happen to the number of inflow of the immigrants. The factors that cause the trends may be varies as different countries have dissimilar economic structure, government policies, political condition, culture and custom.
6.1 Factors of the Trend of Immigrants in Japan
“The economy of Japan is the second largest in the world after United State.” (Economy of Japan, Wikipedia) The stability of Japan economy has attracted the attention of immigrants from Malaysia, Philippines, China, and Brazil to the country. The growing status of Japan is able to guarantee the employment of the immigrants. Japan is able to provide the immigrants a chance for job advancement with higher salary to have a better living standard compared with their home country.
“In 2007, many Japanese industrialists have begun to advocate the acceptance of large numbers of overseas immigrants to address labor shortfalls, consumer market shrinkage and pension funding problems that population decline will bring.”(Glenda S. Roberts, Labour Migration to Japan, Japan focus)
6.1.2 Political Condition
Due to the impact of terrorist attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001, Japan has adopted an action plan to prevent terrorism. The Immigration Bureau is undertaking stricter entry and admission procedures, to restrict the inflow of immigrants from other countries. Japan also calls for expansion of immigration control personnel. This changes the number of immigrants in the Japan.
6.1.3 Government Immigration Policies
Many of the Japan rural regions have the problems of shortages of workers and taxpayers. It is difficult to see how an ever-shrinking workforce will generate the productivity and growth needed to resolve these problems. These have raised the urgency of Japan to reduce labor shortages. In response, the government has begun to consider relaxing restrictions on employment of certain categories of workers for which there are serious labor shortages. Therefore, this causes the increase in the immigrants to Japan.
6.2 Factors of the Trend of Immigrants in Malaysia
Malaysia is the focal point of immigrants from Nepal, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Indonesia, India, Pakistan and Philippines as Malaysia has a fairly strong economy compared to the neighbouring countries. They can get higher wages back to their country to escape poverty and support their family. This has increased the immigrants into Malaysia. Since, Malaysia needs the services of the immigrants; therefore Malaysia has never prohibited the foreign workers into Malaysia. Malaysia believes that without the importation of foreign workers the country’s rapid development, construction and infrastructural program could not be sustained.
Malaysia as a multi-cultural and multi-ethnic nation shares close ethnical and cultural similarity with many immigrants’ source countries. This factor helps the immigrants to assimilate into the society and gain employment.
6.3 Factors of the Trend of Immigrants in South Africa
6.3.1 Government Immigration Policies
In order to increase the immigration of skilled foreign workers, in particular from other developing countries the South African government recently has introduced several measures to attract foreign workers. Recent developments of immigration trends reflect changes in immigration policies, so as to recruit skilled foreign workers as well as other types of foreign labor.
7.0 Advantages of Immigration
Although immigrants might have caused several bad effects to the country, their contribution cannot be denied.
Immigration contributes a lot towards the growth of a country’s economy. It is because when immigrants migrate from their native country to another country, it is mainly for looking a new job opportunity abroad. Immigrants can be either classified as skilled labours or unskilled labours. For unskilled labours, they most probably will find jobs that the locals in that country are not willing to work as and which does not requires any qualifications. For instance, it can be jobs such as cleaners and construction workers. Therefore, this type of workers actually helps the country to fill the job vacancies in the lower level jobs. On the other hand, for skilled labours, they will mostly find jobs in blue collar and white-collar industries which require qualifications. This type of workers will help to satisfy the needs of the locals which will also lead to higher output and quality at a lower cost.
In conclusion, if the country has immigrants working there, they actually contribute to a higher economy growth as tax is the main income for every country. Most of the immigrants will be between the ages of eighteen to thirty-five. These age groups of people are still very young and they will work very hard, therefore they will be getting a higher income which they have to pay tax for it. So, the immigrants are the additional source of income to the government by getting a higher tax income.
7.1.1 Advantages on Economy of Japan
Japan is an “economic miracle country” because it has developed very fast after World War II. However, at present Japan’s economy is contracting due to the fall in population which result from decreasing fertility and aging population. Therefore in order to overcome this problem, the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) in Japan proposed a plan to accept 10 million immigrants over the next 50 years. Therefore, we can conclude from here that, Japan encourages immigrants to migrate to their country to contribute to their economy growth.
7.1.2 Advantages on Economy of Malaysia
In Malaysia, foreign workers are willing to receive a lower pay compared to local labours. Hence, employers are able to reduce their cost of production and hence getting a higher profit. Since higher profit is generated, there will be more production. Higher profit may lead to increase in GDP; help economy of Malaysia reaches a higher level. Furthermore, foreign workers do not ask for many things but just a pay and a place to shed themselves. Hence, it is easier for employers to hire them. Besides, foreign workers are more obedient than local workers and this also explains why employers prefer foreign workers rather than the local ones.
Immigration contributes to the political advantages by the mean of transferring technologies and new ideas through the network of immigrants. The professionals from the developed countries such as scientists and consultants migrate to developing or undeveloped countries to help these countries to develop and achieve its political targets.
7.2.1 Advantages on Politic of Japan
Japan has the ability to create new wealth in the measures of entrepreneurship. Therefore, immigrants will bring a fresh and new entrepreneurial spirit and capability. Other than that, they will also contribute new business ideas and new sources of capital and global connections. In this globalization and interdependent world, immigrants’ global connections will actually assist Japan to have stronger political ties among the immigrants’ countries.
One of the social advantages of having immigrants in the country is diversity. Diversity means the interaction between two individuals from different backgrounds and cultures. Therefore, when immigrants communicate and interact with the locals, the locals can learn many new things such as new skills, languages, and also broaden their knowledge. Other than that, there would be intercultural marriage between the immigrants and also the locals. Therefore, there will be a stronger unity among the immigrants and the locals.
7.3.1 Advantages on Social of Japan
Immigrants would bring greater facility with languages other than Japanese, including English, the global lingua franca. Despite its enormous wealth and the great literacy of its population, Japan has consistently ranked at the bottom in TOEFL scores among Asian countries. Immigrants with native English language facility—not just from the West but also from places like Ghana and the Philippines—would bring improved linguistic competence and a more diverse classroom environment.
8.0 Disadvantages of Immigration
There are quite a number of social disadvantages of having immigrants in the country. First of all, there will be an increase in the number of crimes in the country which mostly done by the less educated immigrants. There will be crimes such as theft, house break-in and even murder. The country’s security will be also in danger as it is having different kind of people from different countries.
Other than that, immigrant may also bring diseases from their native country which will affect the health rate of the local citizen. Pathogens and viruses are having high possibilities to spread to other countries through immigrants. For example, AIDS was transferred to the United States in 1969 through one infected immigrant from Haiti. Furthermore, they will be an increase in the population which means there will be excessive use of resources of the country that will lead to imbalance in natural resources.
8.1.1 Disadvantages on Social of Japan
The concern about foreigners and crimes are highly distorted and exaggerated in Japan. For example, crimes by foreigners are almost five times as likely to be covered in Japanese media as crimes by Japanese. The law-abiding majority of immigrants would bring benefits far outweighing the downside of occasional social tensions and criminal behavior. Other than that, HIV is a major health treat in Japan. Among immigrants in Japan, there were 27.0 reported HIV and 9.3 reported AIDS cases per million in 1990, and 52.9 HIV and 38.8 AIDS cases per million in 2000. These rates were initially 45 to 90 times the population prevalence of HIV and AIDS among Japanese, but are now only 10 to 20 times the prevalence among Japanese, as HIV becomes an increasing problem for the Japanese population.
8.1.2 Disadvantages on Social of Malaysia
There is a sense in Malaysia that the rising level of crime is committed by foreigners, and in particular, migrant workers. This feeling seems to be borne out in the statistics. The New Straits Times estimated that four out of 10 prison inmates in Malaysia are foreigners. (Domestic Crime, Foreign Workers, Regional Ties, 23 Feb 2007). Although it is s a known fact that most of the crimes in this country are committed by Malaysians [80% in 2007 and 97% in 2009 according to reports. However, we cannot deny the crimes that are committed by foreigners. In 2007, major dailies had mentioned statements by authorities saying that 20 percent of crime committed here are by foreigners. In year, police statistics was reported to show that less than 3 percent of crimes in this country are committed by foreigners. (Syed Zahar, Are We Importing Crime?, 29 July 2010)
8.1.3 Disadvantages on Social of South Africa
The negative of foreign immigrants either legal or illegal in South Africa is they pushed the rate of crime upwards. “A South African may take your cellphone, but he won’t kill you. A foreigner will take your phone and kill you.”(South Africans Take out Rage on Immigrants, and , 20 May 2008)
The most economic disadvantages of having immigrants in the country are increase in the rate of unemployment among the local citizens. This will mostly affects the less educated and less skilled local citizens because they have to compete with the immigrants to find for a job. Plus, the laws of economic supply and demand will push the wages down far from what they would be. Other than that, the poor immigrants consume a large amount of government facilities such as health care, education and welfare without paying a high tax to the government. The level of government resources required for social security, health care, welfare and unemployment compensation will be increased heavily because of immigrants that pay little or no tax.
8.2.1 Disadvantages on Economic of Japan
The Japanese unemployment rate has risen to five percent in March, in other words, 3.5 million Japanese are without a job, according to official figures. Recently, a group of researchers led by Jiro Nakamura, professor at Nihon University, has conducted a detailed empirical analysis of the impact of allowing a large number of foreign workers into Japan, including the possibility of causing a downward spiral of wages. Their findings suggest, though with certain reservations, that the acceptance of unskilled foreign workers could work to raise, rather than decrease, wages for low-educated Japanese workers, who are most likely to compete with unskilled foreign workers.
8.2.2 Disadvantages on Economic of Malaysia
Too much immigrants has also caused some problem. For instances, chances for local workers to be hired are now getting smaller and caused the unemployment rate to increase.
The political disadvantages of having immigrants in the country is that there will be a wide opportunity for terrorist, drug dealers and other criminals to enter the country which will then cause threat for the country.
Bad incidents that happen on the foreign immigrants will affect the relationship of both countries. For example, accusations of maid abuse have occasionally strained relations between Indonesia and Malaysia, which employs some 230,000 maids from its relatively poorer neighbour. Indonesia last year stopped sending new maids to Malaysia after several high-profile cases of maids being beaten or even found dead. The freeze is expected to end later this year after both countries complete an agreement to beef up legal protection for housemaids and improve their welfare, such as by giving them a day off per week.
- Ways To Topical The Disadvantages Of Having Immigrants
9.1 Enforcement of Existing Legislation and Punishment.
The government should impose a stricter law which helps to minimize the number of illegal immigrants. Government should arrange a stronger and more detailed custom check to ensure that people is unable to sneak in Malaysia illegally. This action allows immigration department to be able to record a more accurate data. Besides, government is able to control the action of foreign workers and to bring peace to their citizens. One of the examples of stricter punishment is to impose mandatory whipping of more strokes of cane. Besides, immigrants can also be fined once they were found to sneak into Malaysia.
- Detailed Health Check on Immigrants Before Coming In.
Immigration department should make sure that every immigrant gets a better and detailed health check before coming into our country. This can prevent the spreading of diseases from immigrants to Malaysia’s citizens. Besides, immigration department should also check back with the doctors to avoid fraudulent health check results.
- Educate Those Immigrants to Reduce Crimes.
Government from both countries should educate the immigrants to create the awareness of the baseline of the other country. Besides, immigrants should also be taught about the consequences of not following the legislation in the new country, such as being chased out from Malaysia. Foreign workers should have the knowledge of what to be done and what not to, for instances, workers should not go against the law, which is committing crimes in the new country.
- Give Them A Higher Pay
Employers should give a higher pay to the foreign workers to prevent workers from running away from their job. This can be said as a win-win situation as with a higher pay, workers are willing to work for their employer without running away from their current job. On the other hand, employers can save more money by giving a higher pay. This is because employers do not need to spend more time and money to recruit more workers. Money used to hire new workers is more costly than giving them a higher pay. Besides, this can also helps the country to reduce the chances for foreign workers to carry out crimes as they are having a sufficient pay that allows them to continue living.
- Control The Number Of Immigrants That Come Into Malaysia
The existence of foreign workers has given a big assistance in different sector. However, the number of immigrants should be controlled as too much of immigrants will give problems instead of help in the future. The increased of immigrants in Malaysia has created an unstable society and also an increased in total unemployment of Malaysian workers. This is due to the low pay for alien labours making employers to employ them with a lower cost rather than employing local labours with a higher cost. Hence, government should control this number in order to create a safer environment and to increase the chances for local labours to be hired.
The immigrants in Japan and Malaysia have huge contribution to the economy. However, immigrants in South Africa have brought a lot of negative effects to the country. Therefore, we can make a simple conclusion: developed and developing countries require a lot of foreign labours in filling the vacancies in the labour market; undeveloped countries should offer the employment to the locals so that the unemployment rate is reduced to the minimum. Before the government deciding which policy is to be used, they should analyze the pros and cons of this matter before allowing them being in the country. As a rational economist, we should very appreciate what the foreign labours have contributed to our economy.
http://www.longcountdown.com/2007/11/24/illegal-immigrants-reason-for-fingerprinting-non-japanese/ 29 July 2010