Reduced extension levy fees for foreign workers finally enforced

PUTRAJAYA: The reduced extension levy fees for foreign workers in five sectors is finally enforced, says the Immigration Department.

Its Foreign Workers division director Datuk Khairul Khar Yahya said that reduced levy from RM10,000 to RM6,000 for the construction, manufacturing and service sector had been gazetted on April 30.

"I would like to announce the good news. This means that those whose permits expire on April 30 onwards are eligible for the new reduced rates," he said during a town hall session with over 80 foreign workers' agents organised by Persatuan Agensi Pekerjaan Malaysia here on Thursday (May 2).

He said the gazette will also come in force for those in the plantation and agriculture sectors from RM3,500 to RM2,000.

He noted that those who had paid the RM10,000 and RM3,500 levy fees for workers between the period of Oct 1, 2018 and 29 April this year will not be refunded.

He said that this is because the reduced rates as announced by the Finance Minister could only come into effect after the due legal process.

"It is not that we were delaying it, but it is a legal process which involves going through the Home Ministry, the Attorney General's Chambers (AGC) before it is handed to the Chief Secretary to obtained the Royal Assent.

"Even after getting the Royal Assent, it has to be gazetted first. I only received the gazette last night (Wednesday)," he said.

He also noted that the reduced rate for the extension levy would be valid for a year.

In the 2019 Budget announcement, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said the government allowed employers to extend the services of their foreign workers, who have worked for more than 10 years, for another three years.

However, employers were required to pay a RM10,000 levy for the manufacturing, services and construction sector while the levy extension for the agriculture and the plantation sectors is RM3,500.

Following outcry from employers, Lim announced that the Cabinet had decided to reduce the levy extension. 

Following his announcement, there were some confusion among employers and business operators as they still had to pay the initial rates of RM10,000 and RM3,500 respectively.

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