PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF) has opposed a proposal to make it mandatory for employers to submit regular reports on the condition of their foreign workers to the Government.
MEF executive director Shamsuddin Bardan said employers were already subjected to all sorts of requirements and the proposed move would result in additional administrative costs and inconvenience.
He suggested that the Government instead set up a one-stop agency to deal with matters relating to foreign workers.
The proposal was made without consulting us. We cant understand the need for it. There is already an existing provision stating that foreign workers should be treated equally, he added.
Shamsuddin was commenting on the plan for stricter monitoring of foreign workers to ensure that they were treated in accordance with the provisions of the International Labour Convention.
For this purpose, the Government planned to amend the Employers Act to make it mandatory for employers to submit regular reports on the condition of their foreign workers.
Shamsuddin said foreign workers were not being discriminated against as they enjoyed the same benefits as local workers in accordance with the collective agreement.
In practice, foreign workers are treated better as they are provided with housing and transport, he said.
There may be one or two cases of exploitation but I dont think that is the general picture.
The Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC), however, fully backed the proposal, saying that the Government needed to ensure that foreign workers were given protection as stated under the International Labour Organisation Convention.
MTUC deputy president Mohamed Shafie Mammal said the proposal on mandatory submission of regular reports to the Human Resources Ministry was timely.
Employers should not object to preparing regular reports, he said.
They have the courage to hire foreign workers, and they should also have the courage to be responsible. There has to be accountability.
He said the proposed policy, which was in line with the MTUCs struggles, should be implemented as soon as possible.
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