PORT DICKSON: Some 200,000 employers in the country will feel relieved over a Governments decision to allow the renewal of the RM445-a-year levy for foreign maids to be done every two years instead annually.
The annual renewals had caused much hassle for both employers and Immigration Department staff, said Home Ministry Secretary-General Datuk Seri Aseh Che Mat.
We will immediately work towards enforcing the new ruling of allowing the levy to be renewed once in two years, he told reporters after witnessing the passing-out parade of 143 immigration officers who attended a three- month course at the Immigration Academy here yesterday.
Aseh said the medical records of the foreign workers must still be submitted yearly, but the department was identifying ways to ease the application and renewal process for employers.
There are currently 233,204 foreign maids in Malaysia while another 20,000 hope to seek employment here annually.
Aseh said statistics from the department showed that there were 1,157,654 legal foreign workers here in the past one year, with the manufacturing sector hiring the most number (356,724).
He also said that there was a proposal to amend Section 56(1)(d) of the Immigration Act to enhance punishment for those who harbour or employ more than five illegal workers.
Aseh said 9,000 immigrants were whipped for illegally staying in the country since last year.
He said immigration officers at exit points also found that 99% of foreigners who had overstayed submitted fake permits attached to their passports.
Such cases were rampant at the KL International Airport, where 20 cases were handled daily, he said.
On another matter, Aseh said graft among traffic policemen had been identified as the main cause for the rise in corruption offences committed by Home Ministry personnel.
Traffic policemen are exposed to the public in their line of duty and we admit there is a tendency to practise graft to 'settle' an accident case or a traffic offence, he said.
This has caused the graft statistics among civil servants to rise, he said.
He said traffic police also topped the list of complaints to the Public Complaints Bureau while the National Registration Department in Sabah was a close second.
We will embark on preventative measures to discourage graft among civil servants, he said when asked to comment on reports that Home Ministry personnel topped the list of civil servants who had been charged in court by the ACA.