Dismissing reports of a freeze on recruitment of workers from India, Malaysia on Wednesday insisted that it never made a ruling to this effect. "Let me state categorically that the Home Ministry has never come out with any ruling that we have stopped the intake of foreign workers from India," Home Minister Radzi Sheikh Ahmad told reporters.
He said he was not aware where these reports came from. "This has disturbed us a lot," he said.
The news reports about the ban came during a visit by Defence Minister A K Antony to Malaysia, triggering a furor in India. Malaysian Works Minister Samy Vellu, who is in New Delhi to attend the conference of overseas Indians, had denied the reports on Wednesday itself.
Vellu, also the President of the Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC) -- a component of the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition, said that he had contacted Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and Home Ministry Secretary-General to get a clearer picture on the issue. "It is not true. There is no such thing," Vellu told reporters when asked about the reports of freeze on employment of Indian workers.
The Malaysian Home Minister, however, felt that the confusion could have been caused following a ruling that the country was going to temporarily ban workers from Bangladesh.