PETALING JAYA: Greater focus will be placed on managing and screening the entry of foreign talent in Malaysia to create safer living communities under the 11th Malaysian Plan.
The proportion of foreign workers in the workforce will be capped at 15% of total labour pool in 2020, and will be achieved through the formulation of a comprehensive immigration and employment policy.
This is aimed at reducing reliance on low-skilled foreign workers in a holistic fashion, especially in labour-intensive activities.
In an effort to streamline processes, the recruitment of foreign workers will be placed under a single administration, with the Human Resources Ministry assuming the lead role in policy-making for foreign worker management.
To eliminate the role of outsourcing companies and intermediaries, the One-Stop Centre will determine the requirement of foreign workers by sector.
The role of the One-Stop Centre will be enhanced, along with greater collaboration between the Immigration Department of Malaysia and local authorities to ensure effective enforcement.
It will verify and approve applications for recruitment of foreign workers; monitor and respond to all matters related to the welfare of foreign workers; and ensure that foreign workers are employed in the approved sectors and firms.
In addition, the levy system will be improved to better regulate the entry of low-skilled foreign workers.
This tax, which is based on the ratio of foreign workers to total workers in a firm and the duration of employment, will be borne by employers.
It will also be increased gradually over time to increase its effectiveness.
The Government will also introduce the strict liability concept, whereby employers of foreign workers are fully responsible for their recruitment process and welfare.
The issue of illegal foreign workers will also be addressed through better management and effective enforcement initiatives.
To prevent student visa abuse, the authorities will undertake stricter screening procedures in countries of origin and stringent enforcement of regulations to ensure educational institutions with foreign students comply with immigration procedures.
Increased joint operations between such border enforcement agencies as the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency, the Anti-Smuggling Unit, and Angkatan Tentera Malaysia will also help to stem cross-border crime.
Integrated detection, monitoring, and surveillance capabilities will be enhanced including the introduction of sea-basing platforms to deter border intrusions.
The resulting enhanced patrolling of Malaysia's national borders will also ensure faster responses and optimisation of manpower and resources.
With the introduction of the Advanced Passenger Screening System (APSS) biometric and facial recognition systems, unlawful entry at immigration checkpoints will be curbed.