MAICCI wants Govt to review foreign worker policy
by hanis zainal
KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Associated Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (MAICCI) wants the Government to review the policy on foreign workers.
Its president Tan Sri K. Kenneth Eswaran (pic) said the current policy has made it difficult for employers to hire workers qualified for jobs they want filled.
Referring to the freeze on the hiring of foreign workers in certain industries, he said it has caused a shortage for many businesses.
“Businesses such as Indian restaurants, barbers, and news vendors are all facing the same problem.
“Take a restaurant, for example, the cooks can’t come from Bangladesh or Indonesia.
“You cannot get the source country wrong for these businesses,” he said.
Speaking to the press after MAICCI’s 10th management council meeting, Eswaran said the association wants a long-term solution to the issue of foreign workers.
MAICCI secretary-general Datuk A.T. Kumararajah said the association is asking for the Government to allow employers to hire foreign workers according to their needs.
“We want a policy of workers on demand and needs basis,” said Kumararajah, adding that such a policy will never cause an influx of foreign workers because employers do not hire more workers than they need.
“For foreign workers, employers usually won’t bring in more workers than they need. There is a cost to bringing in foreign workers, so why would they bring in more than they need?” he said.
He said that the illegal workers rehiring programme is also not working well for many employers.
“The process should be simple but right now it is costly and difficult,” he said, citing the high processing fees that employers have to pay to register a worker under the rehiring scheme.
MAICCI council member Datin Maheswary Rasamy said the high cost involved in the process is a burden to many employers.
“We have to pay more than RM1,000 (per worker) upfront to MyEG but there is no guarantee that the worker will be approved.
“It’s not a fair deal. If the worker is rejected we lose the worker and money,” said Maheswary.
She said employers do not mind paying a registration fee, but they want the fee to be lowered.
She also said that there is no need for MyEg to take a high processing fee.
“If we pay the Government, it’s fair enough, but MyEg is a private company,” she said, adding that the fee should be refundable.
At present, the rehiring programme is handled by MyEg, Bukit Megah Sdn Bhd and International Marketing and Net Resources Bhd and the fee for the registration of workers start at RM1,800 per worker.