FMM: Myanmar ban, recall on workers disruptive, unfair

March against cruelty Hundreds from the Rohingya community in Malaysia marching from the Tabung Haji building to congregate at the Myanmar Embassy in Kuala Lumpur to protest against reported atrocities against Muslims in Rakhine state.

KUALA LUMPUR: Myanmar's move to impose a ban on its new workers and  possible recall of existing workers from Malaysia is disruptive and unfair to Malaysia’s manufacturers.

The Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM) said on Thursday the Myanmar Government's move coupled with the on-going freeze on recruitment and foreign worker approvals on a case-to-case basis would cause a further shortage of workers.

“Based on the Ministry of Human Resource website, as at June 2016, the manufacturing sector employed 100,349 or 70% of Myanmar workers working in Malaysia,” it said.

Star Online reported on Thursday that Malaysia has not received official notification on any move by Myanmar to stop sending its citizens to work here.

Both Home Ministry and Wisma Putra said they have not been informed of the matter.

Media reports in Myanmar claimed that Myanmar’s Immi­gration Ministry said it had stopped issuing new licences for its nationals to work in Malaysia. 

Meanwhile, the FMM added the ban would disrupt current recruitment efforts of the industry as some employers might have already incurred recruitment costs including travel expenses and levy payments to bring in new workers to meet the current shortage in labour.

It also said a recall amounts to a breaking of the employment contract, which employers would unlikely be compensated for the premature termination;

As for employers, the FMM pointed out they had already incurred costs on recruiting the foreign workers such as medical, insurance, levy advance, etc, which they would not be able to recover.

It was also concerned that some Myanmar workers may resort to running away, which would result in employers being penalised by the Immigration Department.

“With the ban and possible recall of Myanmar workers by their government, the Malaysian authorities namely Home Affairs Ministry and Immigration Department should give due consideration to Malaysian employers by expeditiously giving approval to replace the Myanmar workers; and in the event of runaways, penalty should not be imposed.

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