The issue concerning inflow of foreign workers in the country should be tackled first, before the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) is signed, to prevent it from becoming worse.

ASEAN Services Employees Trade Union Council secretary-general Mohamed Shafie BP Mammal said under the agreement, more job opportunities would be created, and hence would bring more foreign workers into this country.

As such, he proposed to the government to carry out an effective 'cleaning' operation against unregistered foreign workers in the country by using the existing laws.

"It is estimated that there are seven million foreign workers in Malaysia, but only 2.5 million are registered, the rest are working illegally.

"Therefore, the cleaning operation must be done by registering those who are not registered or deporting them back to their countries of origin. This must be done seriously and not seasonally," he told reporters after attending the ASETUC Meeting on TPPA here, on Monday.

Mohamed Shafie also called on the government to explain the TPPA in detail as it was seen as being beneficial only to the business sector.

He said a memorandum containing several recommendations to be considered before the TPPA was signed would be submitted to the government next week.

Twelve countries involved in negotiating the TPPA are Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, New Zealand, Mexico, Malaysia, Peru, Singapore, Vietnam and the United States.

The agreement is expected to be signed in February.