• June 13, 2024
 Malaysia, Cambodia discuss more cooperation on vocational training

Malaysia, Cambodia discuss more cooperation on vocational training

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Minister of Labour and Vocational Training Heng Sour (R) presents a souvenir to Malaysian Ambassador to Cambodia Datuk Eldeen Husaini Mohd Hashim after their meeting at the Ministry on Thursday. Malaysian Embassy to Cambodia

The Ambassador of Malaysia to Cambodia, Datuk Eldeen Husaini Mohd Hashim, met with Cambodia’s Minister of Labour and Vocational Training, Heng Sour, on Friday at the latter’s request. The meeting aimed to strengthen bilateral ties and cooperation between the two nations.

During the discussion, both sides expressed appreciation over Sour’s attendance at Malaysia’s national day reception as the guest of honour. They also reiterated their commitment to enhancing collaboration, particularly in the labour and vocational training sectors.

Ambassador Eldeen Husaini expressed interest in Cambodia’s recent efforts to improve its employment sector, particularly highlighting Prime Minister Hun Manet’s 13 recommendations announced earlier this month. These recommendations aim to enhance performance and address challenges in line with global trends, emphasising cooperation with all stakeholders.

Sour acknowledged the Malaysian Ambassador’s awareness of Cambodia’s developments in labour and vocational training. He noted the alignment between some of Cambodia’s initiatives and those undertaken by Malaysia, indicating potential areas for collaboration.

Discussions also touched upon the joint working group meeting on the recruitment, employment, and repatriation of Cambodian workers in Malaysia. Both sides agreed on the need for further deliberation to address challenges and ensure satisfactory outcomes.

Sour raised concerns about the high costs imposed by Malaysia on medical screening and training for Cambodian migrant workers. He suggested that reducing these costs could enhance Malaysia’s attractiveness as a destination for Cambodian workers and potentially lead to higher minimum wages.

Additionally, the officials discussed discrepancies in data regarding Cambodian workers in Malaysia and explored avenues for improved cooperation in areas such as the Malaysian Technical Cooperation Programme (MTCP) and Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET).

The Malaysian Ambassador announced during the meeting the upcoming launch of Malaysia’s TVET policy in June 2024, aimed at enhancing TVET education across the nation and involving 12 ministries and 1,344 TVET institutions. Efforts have been made through memoranda of cooperation between the Malaysian government and both government-linked and private companies, ensuring graduates are well-equipped for acceptance by GLCs and multinational firms.

Highlighting the policy’s priority, he mentioned Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s directive to shift focus from high school students (18 years old) to upper secondary students (16 years old). The emphasis will be on high-tech domains such as artificial intelligence (AI), information and communication technology (ICT), and futuristic technologies like electric vehicles (EV).

In response, Sour expressed Cambodia’s interest in further collaboration with Malaysia to understand its focused areas in TVET. He indicated a willingness for officials from Cambodia’s Ministry to liaise with the Embassy on this matter.

Both parties agreed to continue discussions during Prime Minister Hun Manet’s upcoming visit to Malaysia, with the aim of furthering cooperation and addressing mutual concerns. They expressed optimism about the potential benefits of strengthened collaboration in the labour and vocational training sectors between Malaysia and Cambodia.

In March last year, during Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim’s official visit to Cambodia at the invitation of then-Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, both governments signed agreements on the recruitment, employment, and repatriation of Cambodian workers in Malaysia.

According to Cambodia’s Labour Ministry, there are 22,262 Cambodian workers, including 21,359 females, who are working in Malaysia as of 2023. Meanwhile, there are 1.3 million Cambodians working all over the world.

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