KUALA LUMPUR, June 24 — The government has reportedly extended Bestinet’s contract for the Foreign Worker Centralised Management System (FWCMS) for three more years.

Home Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail reportedly confirmed that the extension was approved by the Cabinet a few weeks ago, but was subject to stricter conditions.

“The government has established a committee led by Chief Secretary to the Government Mohd Zuki Ali and representatives from the Home Ministry, Human Resources Ministry and the Attorney General’s Chambers to discuss the terms of the contract," he was quoted saying by Malaysiakini.

“The committee’s task is to sit with the company to develop several parameters to streamline the implementation of this system so that the interests of the government and employers hiring foreign workers are protected and the welfare of foreign workers are not neglected,” he added.

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He highlighted that the new contract aims to expedite the application process, reduce migration costs, and ensure the welfare of foreign workers and the interests of employers.

In November last year, the Auditor-General’s Report 2022 said the management of foreign workers through the Foreign Workers Integrated Management System (ePPAx) and the FWCMS under the Human Resources Ministry (KSM) was found to be unsatisfactory.

According to the report, the ePPAx system, with a development cost of RM19.39 million, cannot be used optimally due to limited use in the qualification quota recommendation process through only the issuance of certificates by the Department of Labour of Peninsular Malaysia (JTKSM)

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The report then urged the KSM and the Home Ministry to discuss and decide on who will be fully responsible for the foreign worker management system without neglecting the needs of all stakeholders.

According to report, the system used should have interoperability, scalability and sustainability features to carry out foreign worker management processes seamlessly, ensuring effective management, monitoring and control of foreign workers.

In response, then human resource minister V. Sivakumar said his ministry has made several efforts to ensure that the management of foreign workers including through the ePPAx and FWCMS is carried out efficiently.