Foreign workers recruitment start here

By Nuradzimmah Daim - 28 October 2015 @ 1:27 PM KUALA LUMPUR: A total of 518 foreign workers’ death were reported at the construction sector since 2006, the Dewan Rakyat was told today. Deputy Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Abd Muttalib said according to statistics recorded until Sept 30, nationality with the highest deaths were Bangladesh (216) and Indonesia (64). \"This figure only covers foreign workers at construction sector. There are about 1.9 million legal foreign workers in various sectors in Malaysia,\" he said in reply to a question by Dr Michael Jeyakumar Devaraj (PSM-Sungai Siput). Ismail said a total of 5,340 cases of accidents at construction sites were recorded by the ministry up to September this year. This, he said, compared to the 3,670 cases involving 131 compounds and 57 cases brought to court last year. \"The ministry, through the Department of Safety and Health, is committed to ensure safety, the workers’ welfare and public in the surrounding and prevent accidents at construction sites. \"Our efforts include regular meetings with related agencies including Safety and Health Council, Congress of Unions of Employees in the Public and Civil Services (Cuepacs) and Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC), as well as legal actions and regular checks at construction sites.\" Read More : http://www.nst.com.my/news/2015/10/518-foreign-workers-deaths-construction-site-2006

PORT DICKSON (The Star/Asia News Network) - More Malaysians will be encouraged to take up jobs they previously shunned once the minimum wage is increased, says Malaysia Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai.

Liow said the move, proposed by Prime Minister and Finance Minister Najib Tun Razak in his Budget 2016 speech last Friday, is also in line with Malaysia\'s goal to become a high-income nation by 2020.

Najib proposed increasing the minimum wage for private sector workers in Peninsula Malaysia from RM900 to RM1,000 (S$295 to S$329), and from RM800 to RM920 (S$263 to $302) in Sabah, Sarawak and Labuan from July 1 next year.

The raise will not apply to domestic workers.

\"We have been talking about reducing the number of foreign workers in Malaysia, but it is unfortunate that the numbers have increased to millions now,\" Liow told reporters after opening the refurbished Telok Kemang MCA office in Port Dickson.

He said reducing Malaysia\'s dependence on foreign labour is important if the country wished to move from being a labour intensive to a high-tech nation.

Liow made the comments after he was asked to respond to the Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers\'s (FMM) request to defer the minimum wage raise until the economy has stabilised for fear of its impact on small businesses.

FMM also said the government\'s move to increase the income ceiling for mandatory contribution to Socso (Social Security Organisation) from RM3,000 to RM4,000 was yet another increase in the cost of doing business particularly to small and medium enterprises.

Liow said the government had been talking about a need to cut the number of foreign workers long enough.

\"We gave the signal a long time ago. We need to start implementing this as the number of foreign workers has reached serious proportions,\" he added.

The government is reportedly mulling the setting up of a mechanism to reduce the remittances by foreign workers in Malaysia to their home countries in a bid to stem the outflow of the ringgit.

Sinchew Daily in a report today quoted sources as saying that under this scheme, foreign workers would be required to pay a part of their monthly salaries into a fund to be set up by the government.

Alternatively, their salaries would be deducted directly as a remittance to the fund, in a manner similar to the Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) contributions.

“The government is aware that a large portion of the wages of foreign workers wage are sent back to their home countries, causing severe currency outflows that may affect Malaysia’s economy, hence the scheme was devised.

“The government is still determining the sum or percentage of salary that foreign workers need to pay, and when (including special circumstances) the workers can make withdrawals from the fund,” the source is quoted as saying.

The Chinese-language daily claimed that the National Economic Council has already discussed the scheme, and the cabinet has agreed to the scheme in principle.

Details still being studied

The rest is up to the Ministry of Home Affairs to determine the details of the scheme and how to implement it.

The daily also quoted Deputy Home Minister Nur Jazlan Mohamed (photo) as saying that he is unable to reveal the details of the scheme, as the framework and details are still being studied.

However, Nur Jazlan said, the ministry may make an announcement on it soon.

The daily also quoted then Deputy Finance Minister Ahmad Maslan as saying that between January and September last year, foreign workers remitted about RM23.07 billion out of Malaysia through some 113 million transactions.

It said a government study has found that foreign workers remit about 80 percent of their salaries back to their home country for their family’s expenses.

PETALING JAYA: Malaysian employers are “raising” the depreciated ringgit on their own for the benefit of millions of foreign workers here.

Many, on their own accord, are paying their foreign workers more to make up for the shortfall caused by the falling ringgit.

Besides households employing foreign domestic workers, several restaurant operators and construction firms have also been paying their foreign workers more out of compassion.

Original Penang Kayu Nasi Kandar managing director Burhan Mohamed said he had increased his employees’ wages by 5% to 10%, depending on their length of service.

 

“It’s difficult for them right now because with the depreciated ringgit, they are sending less money back home. I want to help them until the ringgit recovers.

“It’s extra cost but we want to reward our workers,” he said, adding that he had increased the wages of over 200 of his foreign workers, who are mostly from India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Nepal.

Malaysian Muslim Restaurant Operators Association president Noorul Hassan Saul Hameed said the salaries of foreign workers had shrinked due to the weaker ringgit.

“Hopefully, we can work out a temporary solution,” he said, adding that restaurant workers are paid between RM900 and RM2,000 depending on experience.

Reza from Bangladesh, who has been working in Malaysia for five years says RM1 equalled to about 30 taka previously.

“Now it is only about 16 to 17 taka. My wife and I recently had a child, so I have to work extra hard to send back enough money,” he added.

In Butterworth, an Indonesian cleaner who wished to be known as Ina, 44, lamented that to exchange a million rupiah now, she had to fork out RM370, compared to RM290 in June.

“I send home RM700 of my RM950 monthly pay, but my family is getting much less rupiah now,” she added.

Bangladeshi construction worker Hanana Shamim, 38, who has been working in Malaysia for four years said he transfers RM800 of his RM1,400 salary into his wife’s account.

“My family have asked me about the reduced amount. I said I’m doing my best to save as much as I can. Prices of items here have also gone up,” he said.

A restaurant owner in Chai Leng Park who wished to be known as Tan, 58, said that salary was a sensitive issue among his foreign workers.

“I have six Nepali workers. They told me that the value of the ringgit has dropped by about 20% and they have been hinting at a raise,” he added.

In Johor Baru, journalist Norshikin Mohd Salleh, 38, said she did not mind raising her Indonesian maid’s salary.

“Hana has been working with me for six years. She is honest and reliable when looking after my three young daughters,” she said, adding that Hana was now paid RM1,000 compared to RM500 in 2009.

However, manager Julian Lee, 45, said paying RM750 to his maid was already double the amount compared to 10 years ago.

“Unless the maids coming from overseas are completely competent and qualified for the job, I cannot agree to a hike in their wages,” he said.