SINGAPORE—With Covid-19 lowering migrant labor in quite a few countries, some governments are testing irrespective of whether their economies can operate with less foreign employees than in the previous.

Among the the most aggressive is Malaysia, a region of 33 million folks that has extensive relied on numerous million minimal-compensated foreigners to toil in its factories, assemble purchasing malls and harvest its rubber. Organizations credit history these employees with maintaining solutions competitive as the region grows richer and nearby incomes increase.