PETALING JAYA: The long process in hiring foreigners is one reason for the high number of illegal migrant workers, said Malaysian Muslim Restaurant Owners Association (Presma) president Ayoob Khan.
“Some employers choose to flout the law in bringing in illegal migrants as they are severely needed across various industries.
“There is a need for foreign workers – not just in the food and beverage sector, but also in the plantation, construction, security and supermarket industries,” he said when contacted.
Ayoob said it would usually take employers up to a year to hire foreign workers, with the cost at about RM4,000 per person.
“This is too long and too expensive. The process should be made simpler and faster,” he said.
He suggested that the re-hiring programme for illegal foreign workers should be continued but with simpler processes for applications.
“Middleman agencies who process applications for hiring foreign workers are the reason for the long wait and the high cost.
“These are actually duties and responsibilities that can be handled by the Immigration Department,” said Ayoob, adding that middleman agencies processing foreign worker applications should be abolished.
It was previously reported that the services of three agencies in running the rehiring programme of undocumented foreign workers were terminated at the end of June.
The suggestion to simplify the process of hiring foreign workers was one of the recommendations he and Malaysian Indian Restaurant Owners Association (Primas) president T. Muthusamy gave the Council of Eminent Persons (CEP) when they met July 6.
“At the meeting with the CEP, we also discussed about possible reasons locals did not want to take up jobs in mamak restaurants,” he said.
He added that the reasons locals were not taking up such jobs would be reviewed further and the findings would be submitted to the CEP in their next meeting.
They would also be submitting an official memorandum of their suggestions and feedback on the foreign worker issue as soon as possible, according to Ayoob.