Association all for abolishing foreign worker agent service

JOHOR BARU: The Johor Indian Business Association (Jiba) welcomes the move by the government to abolish the service of agents in recruiting foreign workers soon.

President P. Sivakumar said it was the right step for the Human Resources Ministry to take over the task instead of outsourcing the service to private employment agencies (APS).

“Companies should be allowed to bring in the foreign workers and held responsible based only on how many they need,” he said when contacted yesterday.

Sivakumar said the plantation, construction, manufacturing and service sectors still need foreign workers but they should be limited and recruited only based on the dire need of the sectors.

At the same time, he urged the government to continue with its crackdown on undocumented immigrants.

“They are opening more businesses by crowdfunding from their fellow countrymen.

“Malaysia is losing out in terms of revenue as they do not pay taxes and repatriate billions of ringgit yearly to their countries of origin,” said Sivakumar.

Johor South SME advisor Teh Kee Sin said outsourcing of foreign workers was still necessary for some sectors or small- and medium-sized enterprises (SME).

“We still need to depend on outsourcing done by APS but past recruitment by these companies must be closely monitored by the government to ensure certain standards are fulfilled.

“The government should impose a security bond for this purpose and private employment agencies found to violate the ruling should be penalised including blacklisting them,’’ he said.

Teh said SMEs also required middlemen to support their foreign worker applications as the SMEs do not take in many foreign workers unlike large companies or multinational corporations.

He added that SMEs needed agents to facilitate the administrative arrangements with the source country agency to handle the logistic matters for the foreign workers arrival into Malaysia.

Johor Consumers Movement Association chairman Md Salleh Sadijo said Malaysia still needs foreign workers to stir its economy.

But he said the importation of these foreign workers must be done in a fair manner to benefit the country and the workers to avoid middlemen becoming collecting agents for political masters.

“Do away with agents and the different ministries should monitor their respective industries to combat monopoly by certain parties or individuals,” said Md Salleh.

He said the cost of bringing in foreign workers must not be burdensome to the foreigners as it was common to hear foreign workers being left stranded because of certain agents.