Minister: Hire more foreign workers, pay more under new levy system

Human Resources Minister M. Kulasegaran said the system, to be implemented next year, is similar to the one used in Singapore. — Bernama pic
Human Resources Minister M. Kulasegaran said the system, to be implemented next year, is similar to the one used in Singapore. — Bernama pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 24 — Putrajaya is introducing a new multi-tiered levy system that will impose a higher tax on employers who want to hire more foreign workers, in what is seen as a bid to control the influx of migrants into the country both legal and otherwise.

Human Resources Minister M. Kulasegaran said the system, to be implemented next year, is similar to the one used in Singapore and is based on the principle that “the more you hire, the more you pay”.

He added that the Foreign Workers Management Special Committee has accepted the proposed system.

“Across the board, the current levy imposed will be maintained as it is for the first tier depending on the type of sector concerned.

“If an employer has a higher number of foreign workers, the tariff imposed will therefore be significantly more and differ according to the country’s need,” he said in Parliament today.

The ministry’s secretary-general Datuk Amir Omar was reported saying on October 17 that the multi-tiered system will enable employers to play a more proactive role by deciding how many foreigners they want to hire.

Today, the minister said the final quantum has yet to be decided and a framework for the system is being built.

But Kulasegaran said a bond between RM300 and RM1,000 will be introduced on all foreign workers to prevent the worker from “going rogue”.

“So if the worker runs away, the bond will be forfeited.

“So it is the employer’s responsibility to prevent such incidents and hope the authorities would take further action,” he said.

He added that a higher quantum will ensure that workers remain at the workplace they were hired for until the end of their contracted term.

At the same news conference, Home Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said a special visitor pass will be issued to foreign workers before they are given the official visit pass for temporary employment, which is known by its Malay abbreviation PLKS.

Muhyiddin explained that the special pass is needed because of the lengthy medical checks that foreign workers undergo under Fomena.

“Sometimes, the duration is too long and these workers may have been placed with the employers but have yet to receive their PLKS,” he said.

He said the special pass will expire after 30 days but could be extended for another 30 days if more time is needed by the foreign workers to sort their official documentation process.

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