KUALA LUMPUR: The Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Ministry has asserted that approval to hire foreign workers in the food service industry is only given to those who will serve as cooks and cleaners.
Its minister, Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin (pic), said the ministry was in the midst of conducting an integrated operation with the Immigration Department and relevant agencies to take action against food service operators who were abusing the approval to hire foreign workers.
"We have been conducting this operation since last week and we will arrest any food operators found to have hired foreign workers as waiters, cashiers and anything other than cooks and cleaners.
"There will be no exception because we do not want the operators to raise their food prices and burden the consumers once the new levy rate for foreign workers is imposed."
The minister said this to reporters in response to the possible increase of the foreign worker levy rate, which was initially scheduled to be implemented on Feb 1, that could lead to food price hikes.
On Thursday, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, however, announced the postponement of the new levy rate until Feb 20 pending a meeting between the Government and industry players.
The decision for the introduction of the new levy rate was made following the announcement by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak when tabling the revised Budget 2016 on Jan 28. – Bernama