Levy move will retain flavour of nasi kandar, says owner


GEORGE TOWN: It will be easier for nasi kandar restaurant chains to preserve their flavours and special recipes with the easing of the extension levy for foreign workers who have been working in Malaysia for over 10 years.

Original Kayu Nasi Kandar proprietor Buruhan Mohamad says foreign workers who have served in his restaurant for over 10 years are not only loyal but also excellent cooks.

“It’s not easy to get the curries right every time. The foreign workers who have worked with us for so long already know how to do it, so it will be easier for us to retain them now.

“They can’t afford the levy and we must foot it. I have a few senior foreign workers who are due to go back and now I can tell them to stay,” he said.

However, the extension levy, including insurance and other fees, was only about RM2,000 in the past, and though the new levy will be reduced from RM10,000 to RM6,000, Buruhan hopes it can be brought down to RM3,000 to make it easier for employers to retain long-term talent.

Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers Penang chairman Datuk Dr Ooi Eng Hock (pic) praised the federal government for making it easier on employers.

“I estimate that of all the foreign workers in the manufacturing sector, 25% of them have been with us for more than 10 years.

“They are now skilled enough to be supervisors and line leaders. They would have absorbed our culture and have learned how to manage people, so it’s good news for the industry,” he said.

However, Dr Ooi urged manufacturers to step up efforts to train local talent and nurture their Malaysian workforce so that they would be less reliant on foreign workers.

“It will take some time and we hope for a good grace period from the government, but we can upscale our local workforce and be less dependent on foreign workers,” he said.

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