Muhyiddin: Proposed multi-tier foreign worker levy system to be implemented next year


  • Nation
  • Wednesday, 24 Oct 2018

KUALA LUMPUR: The proposed multi-tier levy system for foreign workers is expected to be implemented by next year, said Home Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

He said the government was meeting with all the relevant sectors to determine the exact quantum of levies for all industries.

"We have agreed to further consult the respective sectors and sub-sectors so when we implement it they will not be adversely affected," he told the media after chairing the first meeting of the joint Home Ministry and Human Resources Ministry committee on the management of foreign workers.

Muhyiddin said the quantum of levy in regards to the respective sector will be re-looked at again so it will not be too burdensome.

"Although generally from the figures that they have worked out, there will be a rough increment of 20% over the present levy.

"So, it is not so big, but in some sub-sectors, it will be bigger," he said.

"Once we implement it, there will be no u-turn, so when we implement it we want it to go smoothly.

"However, this is, of course, subject to the approval from the Cabinet," he said.

Muhyiddin also noted that the government has decided to stop the outsourcing programme.

"Previously it was under the purview of the Home Ministry but now we have decided to transfer it to the Human Resources Ministry so it will be more systematic and inline with the current laws," he said.

The Home Minister revealed that there are over 100 outsourcing companies with more than 26,000 employees under them.

"We are giving them some time so they can decide to relocate their employees to selected employers. This is will take some time and we will let the Human Resources Ministry to handle it," he said, adding that this was done after reports of alleged mistreatment and human trafficking cases of foreign workers

As of Sept 30 this year, there were a total of 1,892,247 foreign workers who were issued with temporary passes by the Immigration Department with the top five highest countries being Indonesia, Bangladesh, Nepal, India, and Myanmar, added Muhyiddin.

Meanwhile, Human Resources Minister M. Kulasegaran said the system, which was adopted from Singapore's model, would see employers determine the number of foreign workers they want to hire.

"It is based on the ratio of the hiring of local workers before foreign workers can be hired.

"It is not a straightforward formula but we are looking at the quantum of levy at the moment," he said.

The government was also mulling to increase the bond payment imposed on each foreign worker to curb them from running away from their jobs.

"We are currently charging between RM300 to RM1,500 so the bond can be used if they suddenly run away or want to go back to their home country.

"If the workers run away, the money will be forfeited. We want the rate to be higher.

"The final quantum will be decided after discussing with unions, non-governmental organisations and all stakeholders," he said, adding that it's already at its final stages.

 

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