PUTRAJAYA: The RM1,500 fee for rehiring foreign workers under the recalibration programme will remain, says Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail.
The Home Minister said there was no reason for the fees to be reduced or abolished.
"We will continue with the recalibration programme spearheaded by the Immigration Department as we need to facilitate the demands of workers in the economic sector.
"It is status quo as far as the fee is concerned," he told reporters after giving his New Year address at the ministry's headquarters on Friday (Jan 27).
He was asked to comment on calls by certain quarters to abolish the fee.
Saifuddin said the recalibration programme recorded more than RM700mil in revenue for the government last year.
"The programme is beneficial as it is able to fulfill the demand for workers.
"It is cheaper for employers to use this programme in rehiring foreign workers rather than pay an agency for new workers," he said.
The recalibration programme had gone smoothly without any major problems, he added.
On another matter, Saifuddin said as of Jan 22, the Immigration Department has recorded a total of 1,484,677 foreign workers holding temporary working visit passes (PLKS).
"The top five source countries are Bangladesh with 446,299 workers, followed by Indonesia (399,827), Nepal (285,768), Myanmar (135,590) and India (81,002)," he said.