The decision is aimed at giving priority to Malaysians for such jobs, the Home Ministry said in a statement.

Malaysia’s fast-food restaurants will no longer be allowed to hire foreign workers, the Home Ministry said on Tuesday, a decision that will affect thousands of Indians who come seeking work as waiters and cooks.

The decision is aimed at giving priority to Malaysians for such jobs, the Ministry said in a statement.

Malaysia relies heavily on foreign labour in the restaurant, construction, garbage collection and gardening sectors as its citizens have not been keen to take up these jobs.

Most workers in these sectors are sourced from India, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Cambodia.

The Home Ministry acts as the secretariat for the Cabinet Committee on Foreign Workers and Illegal Immigrants. The decision was made during a meeting of the committee chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin.

The statement said it was found that many locals were interested in working in fast-food outlets.