PETALING JAYA: The Home Ministry has defended the RM38 fee charged by MyEG for the online application of foreign worker permits as the funds are needed to bear the operational costs and management of the services.
The ministry, which oversees the Immigration Department, said such services consisted of online applications, registration of the employers’ identification and password, personal bonds for foreign workers with problems and fees for the door-to-door delivery of the permits so that employers do not have to line up at Immigration counters.
“We are also aware of the complaints by some employers who relied on runners or agents to apply for permit renewals.
“With the renewal process done entirely online, this situation will cease to exist and agents will not have any opportunity to take advantage of the circumstances.
“The online renewals will also ease congestion at Immigration Department counters,” it said in a statement yesterday.
The online renewal system kicked off on Jan 5.
Several groups have since criticised the move, claiming that employers were taken by surprise when told that renewals could not be done at department counters but must be done online annually using MyEG’s new system.
However, the ministry said the move was introduced with the agreement between the Government and MY E.G. Services Bhd and the announcement was made two years ago.
It noted the feedback from various parties on the Government’s decision, which was based on numerous factors and implemented in stages beginning Dec 24, 2012.
“The purpose of the move is to deal with the leeway exploited by certain parties. It is also to help shorten the application processing time to one to two working days compared to the two to four weeks via manual transactions over the counter,” the ministry said.
MyEG had previously justified the RM38 fee by explaining that it covered a range of responsibilities besides permit renewals, including biometric verification and compiling the database of foreign workers.
In a separate statement, MyEG said its officers stationed at temporary booths at Immigration Department branches in Kuala Lumpur, Penang and Malacca had allegedly received threats by some individuals who were upset by the move.
“These individuals have threatened MyEG staff and vandalised furniture at the premises.
“Their dissatisfaction and anger is believed to be a result of the loss of income as they have previously acted as ‘agents’ for employers to facilitate permit renewals,” MyEG said.
Did you find this article insightful?