KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 12): Following the government’s decision to postpone the new foreign workers levy ruling to 2018, the Master Builders Association Malaysia (MBAM) today called for a more transparent and simplified process of hiring foreign workers.
MBAM president Foo Chek Lee said the government should ensure that workers are mobilised to the project site within a month, and that the process of legalising existing illegal workers be made more transparent, simpler and cheaper.
“The process should be undertaken by the Immigration Department and not third party companies which may be open to abuse,” he said.
Foo expressed relief over the postponement of the new ruling, saying it would give the industry time to plan for and adjust to the transition.
Yesterday, Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said the deferment was necessary in the absence of a proper ecosystem under the newly-introduced Employer Mandatory Commitment (EMC).
The EMC, initially slated to begin on Jan 1, with employers required to pay the levy on behalf of the workers, would be subject to further scrutiny by the government and industry players in this one year.
Meanwhile, Malaysian Rubber Glove Manufacturers Association (Margma) president Denis Low Jau Foo said its industry wants workers, and knows how to manage and treat them.
“Otherwise, no workers will want to come and work for our industry. For the moment, our industry is very short of workers and we plead with the government to expedite the process.
“We are certain that our pragmatic Deputy Prime Minister (cum) Home Minister (Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi) will once again come forward to assist industry in this matter,” Low said in a statement.
He added that Margma’s members would invest further into new and automated plants in order to sustain and maintain Malaysia’s leadership as the world’s largest producer of medical rubber gloves. — theedgemarkets.com