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Details Needed on Freeze In Intake of New Foreign Workers

Press Statement - February 19, 2016 - Manufacturers need details from the Government on its latest decision to freeze the intake of new foreign workers from ALL source countries. The Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM) understands that the Government has suddenly decided to freeze the intake of new foreign workers for ALL source countries while there is a review on a two-tier levy programme. YAB Deputy Prime Minister had also informed that existing illegal workers in Malaysia would be detained and deported. 

It is unclear to manufacturers how long the suspension would take effect. Some employers have earlier received approvals to bring in workers and are in different stages of recruitment, including some with workers already on their way to Malaysia. FMM hopes that the Government has given due consideration to these cases in coming to its decision to freeze recruitment. Employers therefore require the full details of the Government’s latest announcement.

Manufacturers have always made the effort to recruit local workers first. This is also a requirement imposed by the Government before employers can apply to bring in foreign workers. Hence, companies which have received approval have already proven that their need for additional manpower is justified and could not be supplied by local workers.

On the review of a two-tier levy programme, employer associations had met the Ministry of Home Affairs on February 16, 2016 and were given 10 working days to revert with their collective counter proposal acceptable to the business community.

FMM hopes that the issues of levy and recruitment of foreign workers can be resolved expediently to avoid any deleterious effect on our economy. We also hope that the Government will consult with the industry and develop transparent, consistent and stable policies which are very important for the business community.

In the meantime, the FMM urges the Government to review its decision to suspend recruitment and also renewals via the MyEG system which is the single avenue for renewal of foreign worker work permits. 

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