PUTRAJAYA, May 20 — The government has extended the deadline to bring in foreign workers in the formal sector for China Communication Construction Company (M) Sdn Bhd (CCC), Home Minister Datuk Saifuddin Nasution Ismail.

Saifuddin said this decision was made for CCC as the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) is a high-impact project.

“The ECRL is a time-sensitive [project], that is the need of the project and to bring in foreign workers, that is tied to the deadline which is allowed by the government.

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“So today [during the meeting], the approval was made for CCC to extend the deadline, so that they will be able to bring in foreign workers according to the initial quota that was approved so that the construction progress will not be disrupted,” Saifuddin told reporters today after the 11th Committee Meeting on foreign worker management here at the Menara Perkeso here.

In March, Saifuddin made an announcement that there would be no extension to the May 31 deadline for employers to bring in foreign workers in the formal sector as the government is confident the ceiling for the number of foreign labour in the workforce would have been met.

Saifuddin reportedly said between January 17 and March 23 last year, a total of 412,011 quotas had its levy laud and 58 per cent of 239,305 had already been given the visa with reference letter.

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He said the figure gave a clear indication that employers who truly need foreign workers would expedite the entry of their workers.

Earlier this month, Transport Minister Anthony Loke said the ECRL project in Kelantan, Terengganu, Pahang and Selangor had reached an average of 65 per cent as of last month.

He said that in Selangor, particularly, the project has progressed by more than 26 per cent up to last month, in line with the schedule for the preparation of the ECRL line from Gombak to Port Klang in December 2027, with operations set to begin in January 2028.