The Practice of Collaborative Governance in Malaysia’s Foreign Worker Policy

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Abstract

The purpose of this study is to investigate the viability of applying collaborative governance in the management and policy of foreign workers in Malaysia. This study employs a qualitative approach to examine the degree to which Malaysia’s administrative policy for foreign workers incorporates a collaborative administration element. Information was obtained through interviewing eleven sources from relevant ministries, industries, and contractors’ and workers’ associations. The findings found that the policy for managing foreign workers now includes administrative collaboration components. Nevertheless, based on the three collaborative elements of “collaborative dynamics,” namely the engagement principle, shared motivation, and the capacity to act collaboratively, the level of collaborative governance in the formulation and implementation of foreign worker policy remains low. Thus, to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of the foreign worker policy, a more extensive form of collaboration and an innovative system are required. This is because Malaysia requires foreign workers to sustain its vital industries. Furthermore, effective collaborative governance will facilitate relations between countries in terms of employment mobility and the protection of the rights of foreign workers.