KUALA LUMPUR: Several groups have slammed the Government’s “sudden” decision to outsource the renewal of the Foreign Workers Permits (PLKS) to MyEG – and the additional RM38 per worker charge that comes with it.
Employers, they said, were taken by surprise when told that renewals could not be done at Immigration Department counters effective Jan 5.
Now, all employers of foreign workers, including those of domestic maids, have to do annual renewals online using MyEG’s new system with the additional service charge.
Questioning the necessity of outsourcing the service, the Malaysian Association of Foreign Maid Agencies president Jeffrey Foo said the department should be able to handle an online system.
“MyEG is not a government body. It is only a government-appointed company. Yet it is being entrusted with handling the huge task of renewals for an estimated 2.2 million foreign workers.
“Employers were already paying a RM125 service charge per worker to the department. Now, they have to fork out an additional RM38,” he told reporters here yesterday. At 2.2 million workers, employers need to cough up an additional RM86mil for the renewals.
The online renewal, Foo said, would also take longer – about three days – as employers would first need to get a special pass from the department before renewing permits online.
“Previously, the renewal could be done in a day,” he said, adding that unless they bought their workers’ insurance from MyEG, employers also had to pay an additional RM20 each.
In a statement dated Jan 2, the department announced that all renewal of foreign workers permits at their counters would be stopped to reduce congestion as well as to avoid employers using middlemen or agents.
Malaysian Employers Federation executive director Datuk Shamsuddin Bardan said it was “strange” that there had been no consultation on the matter.
“When we did the renewals manually at the counter, there was no charge. Now, it’s RM38 per worker. Imagine the windfall for MyEG,” he said when contacted.
“We have to remember that employers include those who run small businesses. Not everyone is computer savvy.
“There needs to be a mindset change for the authorities. If they want to introduce a change, at least do it gradually to allow people to familiarise themselves.”
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