Foreign Workers to Entrepreneurs: A Framework of Job Displacement

  •  Norehan Abdullah    
  •  Selamah Maamor    
  •  Asan Ali Golam Hassan    
  •  Hussin Abdullah    
  •  Fauzi Hussin    
  •  Ahmad Zafarullah Abdul Jalil    


The entry of foreign workers on a large scale to Malaysia in the 1980s was mainly to smooth and facilitate the
development of economic structural change as unskilled labor in the formal sector. It is expected that in the
process of adjusting to economic changes, there is a shift of employment of foreign workers, especially during an
economic crisis in 1997 and 2008. The main objective of this study was to establish a hypothetical model of job
displacement of unskilled foreign labor to entrepreneurs. Data was gathered through a survey on foreign
businessmen who once worked as laborers in Malaysia. Descriptive analysis results show that most migrant
workers were able to shift into entrepreneurs due to the high desire to try his luck and take advantage of a stable
economic situation. Furthermore, those migrants are more likely to become entrepreneurs in the same business
sector of the field when first engaged as unskilled workers. Among the driving factors that contributed to the job
displacement includes working experience, the existence of opportunity and fellow encouragement.

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