KUALA LUMPUR: Almost two million foreign workers are holding valid temporary working permits in the country, the Dewan Rakyat was told.
Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said a total of 1,854,684 foreign workers were holding the Temporary Employment Pass (PLKS) issued by the Immigration Department as of Sept this year.
"The highest number is from Indonesia (749,226), followed by Nepal (411,364), Bangladesh (237,991), Myanmar (140,259), India (121,430) and others (194,374)," said Dr Ahmad Zahid, who is also the Home Minister, in a written reply to Lim Lip Eng (DAP-Segambut).
Lim had asked the government to reveal the total number of foreign workers and the policy in hiring them.
"The hiring of foreign workers is a temporary measure to fill the job vacancies. After the employment period is over, they are required to return back to their country of origin," he said.
He noted that the government had made the decision on Feb 19 to suspend applications of new foreign workers including from Bangladesh until it completed the assessment on the real need of each industry.
"The levy imposed on foreign workers differs from each industry and was clustered according to its own categories," he said.
Levy is set at RM1,850 for the first category, comprising the manufacturing, construction and service sector, said Dr Ahmad Zahid.
It is set at RM640 for the second category, comprising the agriculture and agro-industries, while for domestic helper, levy is set at RM410 per person.