The long awaited announcement by the government for the reopening of wellness centres, spa’s and massage therapy outlets is finally here, but the bigger problem is the condition laid out by the ministry to only use local workers.
As we know since the MCO, many of the foreign therapist in massage centre’s like Thai Odyssey have all gone back, as the name states the center mostly provides therapy by Thai’s, with the condition put in place the company which has outlets in nearly every shopping mall is facing a major challenges. The current condition put in place is due to border closures and the strict foreign labour guideline. Recently Human Resource Minister M. Saravanan issued a statement calling on the freeze on all foreign workers, the minister has advised company’s to recruit locals instead. Those who are already in the country are staring at uncertainty when their permit expires.
Frequent visitors who want a nice massage or enjoy a well deserved day at the spa serviced mostly by foreign workers from Thailand, Indonesia or Vietnam, welcome the announcement but business owners have more complicated issues to handle at the moment.
Many of these places are going to remain closed or shut down for good, locals have shun these jobs for decades as they are seen as derogatory and shameful. Businesses tried to lure locals to work with good salary, but the nature of the job that requires physical contact has kept locals at bay.
For now there is no point for the industry which has depended on foreign workers to thrive to reopen, Malaysians will just have to wait.