Reopen migrant worker permit counters until MyEG kinks ironed out, ministry told

Seputeh MP Teresa Kok called on the Home Ministry to restore manual issuance of migrant worker permits until lingering questions over the new online system and fees paid to MyEG are resolved. — Picture by Choo Choy May
Seputeh MP Teresa Kok called on the Home Ministry to restore manual issuance of migrant worker permits until lingering questions over the new online system and fees paid to MyEG are resolved. — Picture by Choo Choy May

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 11 — The Home Ministry must restore Immigration Department counters issuing migrant worker permits until lingering questions over the new online system and fee by MyEG are resolved, a DAP lawmaker insisted today.

DAP vice-chairman Teresa Kok said that the Home Ministry has not adequately explained the RM38 fee payable to the e-services provider — permits were previously issued without charge — apart from insisting that the new charge is to cover the operational and management costs for the system.

Kok also questioned the decision to impose a higher RM58 fees for employers who purchase the necessary insurance from agents other than MyEG, saying this encouraged a monopoly for the firm.

“Is this a fair and reasonable move to employers and other insurance companies? Why such monopoly for MyEG?” posed Kok, who is also the Seputeh DAP MP.

The system that went into effect on Monday necessitates that employers pay an RM38 application fee on top of the RM125 processing fee under the newly revised implementation.

Kok said the Home Ministry’s explanation was “unsatisfactory” as many feel that the RM38 fee is “unfair”.

She also asked why the average levy of RM1,755 per worker, or an aggregate sum of RM4.4 billion, was now made payable to MyEG instead of the Immigration Department, and demanded to know the timeline for the firm to return the collections to the government.

Kok further noted that the new system is cumbersome to those who are not technologically savvy, as it requires all applications to be submitted online.

“Allowing only online applications will pose a burden to these employers,” said Kok, in statement today.

“Until and unless all complaints against and questions associated with online application of foreign worker application are satisfactorily resolved, Home Ministry must continue with the immigration manual counter application,” she said.

Following public outcry over the introduction of the fee for the permits previously issued without charge at Immigration Department branches, MyEG yesterday explained that the payment is also used to fund the compilation, verification, maintenance, and analysis of a database on migrant workers.

On Wednesday, PKR lawmakers demanded that the federal government explain the decision to outsource the permit issuance to MyEG, claiming that the firm could profit as much as RM100 million annually from collecting the fees.

The introduction of the new system had this week caused confusion at Immigration Department branches nationwide after employers and their agents were directed to use MyEG’s new online system in place of the discontinued permit counters.

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