iKad charge included in permit application fees, says ministry

Model Athikah Mohd Naim displaying the foreign workers I-Card after launching in Putrajaya. - filepic

KUALA LUMPUR: There is no additional charge for a foreign worker’s iKad costing RM110, as the cost is already included in the current temporary work permit application fees.

The Home Ministry in a statement said that at the launch of the card in Putrajaya last week, its minister, Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi had announced the iKad – which included a barcode and cardholder’s thumbprint – would be colour-coded according to sector for easier identification.

iKad is a new identification card system introduced by the Government in its effort to control the influx of illegal foreign workers.

Meanwhile, Master Builders Association Malaysia (MBAM) president Matthew Tee said MBAM hoped the new iKad identification system for foreign workers could be rolled out quickly and efficiently to minimise future issues of this nature.

He said the Government should also charge lower fees for the iKad as construction industry employers were already paying levies and other processing fees.

“The construction industry can be quite labour-intensive, which means that if an employer employs 1,000 foreign workers, he has to pay an additional RM110,000 for these iKad,” he said in a statement.

To lessen the burden of construction industry employers, MBAM members feel the iKad should not cost more than RM20 each.

“MBAM also hopes the Government will research objectively the source of the problems which lead to the demand for illegal workers, and quickly come up with proper solutions to address them,” he said.

MBAM also raised concerns about a large-scale operation involving the immigration department, police and Rela against illegal immigrants nationwide on Jan 21, as announced by the ministry last week.

“We abide by our legal obligation to employ only legal foreign workers.

“However, the association strongly urges the Government to provide clear guidelines on future raids, especially at construction sites, as our members have been seriously affected in previous raids,” he said.

Tee claimed that whenever there was news of impending raids, most of the foreign workers, both legal and illegal, would flee the work sites to avoid arrest as their documents were kept by employers for safekeeping. — Bernama

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