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GEORGE TOWN, Sept 27 — Employers complaining about the RM10,000 levy to extend skilled migrant workers’ stay are free to send them home, said Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng.
He said employers could achieve the same result by sending workers who have been here for 10 years back to their origin countries and bringing them in anew.
“I am sure some are complaining that it is too high, if that is the case, the employers can ask them to go back and only pay RM1,850 when they come back, but some do not want them to go back,” he told reporters today.
He clarified that the RM10,000 levy is for an extension period of three years for workers who had worked here for more than 10 years while the fee for those below that period remained at RM1,850.
Lim said the new levy was for the three-year extension being introduced.
He stressed that this levy does not apply to domestic workers and is only imposed on commercial workers.
The policy effective Oct 1 applies to sectors such as manufacturing, construction, plantation, services, agriculture, mining and quarries.
Lim said the government’s decisions to revert to its original plan for employers to pay the full RM10,000 was because of objections from trade unions and employers; he previously said 80 per cent must be borne by the individual employees.
“This shows that the Pakatan Harapan government is open to listen to the people, when the people objected with reasons, we will listen and do what is right for them,” he said.
Lim announced on Monday that foreign workers who have worked here for over 10 years must pay 80 per cent of the levy or RM8,000 while their employers would bear the rest for an extension period of three years.
The next day, he said the entire burden must be paid by employers.