‘Malaysia adopts fair practices in hiring Nepalese’


  • Nation
  • Thursday, 12 Dec 2019

PETALING JAYA: The process of hiring workers from Nepal, including those in the security services, have adopted fair recruitment practices, said the Human Resources Ministry.

A ministry spokesman said the estimated cost for recruitment of Nepalese workers after Malaysia signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Nepal, was between RM6,300 and RM7,900.

Employers, he added, are expected to pay the Foreign Workers Management System (RM640-RM1,850), security screening (RM105), medical screening (RM260), attestation fee by the Nepal embassy (RM1,000) and foreign workers compensation scheme (RM72), among others.

“On the foreign workers compensation scheme, this is now under the purview of Socso as foreign workers must also be registered to receive Socso benefits, ” the spokesman said when contacted yesterday.

He was commenting on employers who have urged the government to help reduce their costs by hiring workers from more source countries after Malaysia signed the MoU with Nepal in October.

Association of Employment Agencies Malaysia president Datuk Foo Yong Hooi said the government should allow more source countries for employers as well as help to improve ethical recruitment efforts.

“We admit that the move (to impose fair recruitment process) have improved efforts to boost workers rights under the International Labour Organisation (ILO) standards, but Malaysia is not a fully developed country yet.

“At the moment, it is quite a huge financial burden for us, ” he said when contacted.

Malaysia is expected to sign a new and improved Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) for labour supply with Bangladesh, Indonesia and Vietnam.

Human Resources Minister M. Kulasegaran said Malaysia signed the first phase of the MoU with Nepal on Oct 29 to address human trafficking issues and exploitation of migrant workers.

Under the new MoU, employers would now bear costs, such as recruitment service charge, two-way airfare, visa fee, health check-up, security screening and levy charges, among others.

Previously these fees were borne by the workers.

Based on the MoU, Malaysian firms would pay the salary of workers through the banking channels and would have to deposit the salary on the seventh day of the month, while the firms employing the workers would also have to bear all expenses related to accommodation, health check-up and security, among others, during the contract period.

Foo said employers could end up paying about RM6,000 to recruit a worker from Nepal.

“We agree with the ethical recruitment approach, but we are not yet ready for it during this particular economic situation, ” he said.

Owner of a security guard firm Datuk Seri Mustapa Ali said that staff shortage was still occurring in the security services sector and hoped the government could find ways to address the issue.

“The cost is quite expensive and we are adhering to all the new regulations. But the cost is of course higher compared to before the MoU, ” he said.

Another security firm owner who declined to be named also urged the government to open up to more source countries and do a cost-effective analysis of the current system.

“At the moment, these countries are saying that we have to pay high salaries to employ their workers, but the quality is not as hoped.

“Employers end up paying a lot of money but the quality was bad and some of them cannot even converse in basic English or

Malay.

“Some of them even want to go home even before their contracts ended, ” he said.

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