12 April 2012: RESTAURANT operator Najbudin Ibrahim from Seremban has given up on Malaysians.
For the 58-year-old, the idea of hiring locals to help run his food outlet is repugnant.
Locals, he lamented, were extremely picky about the tasks they were required to perform.
"Let's face it, jobs such as serving customers or washing dishes are not exactly attractive and do not pay much," he tells the New Straits Times.
That was why he placed his trust in foreign hands, who also manned the stalls around town, judging from the languages and accents spoken while attending to customers.
Foreigners, Najbudin claimed, were more hardworking compared with locals. He said foreign workers would feel restless if there was no work to be done.
"Locals want to rest after performing a simple task.
"They also constantly demand for cigarette breaks," he said, adding that foreigners also adapted quicker and complained very little.
A hawker, who only wanted to be known as Chong, said the reason he hired foreign workers to help him man his noodle stall was because of their work attitude.
He said that even though the work was unattractive and laborious at times, the workers were always reliable.
Aside from that, Chong said foreign workers were fast learners. They could also pick up local languages and sometimes, dialects easily.
"Not everyone wants to be serving customers.
"It is hard to get locals to perform this kind of job.
"Foreign workers are far more hardworking because the money that they earn daily matters to them.
"Mine does not mind working from early evening until midnight because he is prepared to do it," Chong said.
He said his foreign worker earned RM45 daily, excluding food, by serving customers and manning the stall.
"We are still very dependent on them (foreign workers)."
businesses continued to clamour for foreign labour.
"Business owners said that without foreign labourers, their businesses would take a hit, which in turn, would affect the economy."
Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam