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FMM: Don't compound companies who fail to provide jobs for foreign workers without proper probe

FMM In The News: BUSINESS TIMES, KUALA LUMPUR, January 5, 2024 - The Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM) has urged the government to not impose compounds of up to RM30,000 per worker on companies that fail to provide jobs for foreign workers without a proper probe into the matter.  

Its president Tan Sri Soh Thian Lai said it would be unfair to put the blame on employers without conducting proper probe.  

"Manufacturers are subjected to strict requirements from the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) as the regulatory agency for the manufacturing sector, where employers must show proof of orders and demand from customers as justification for the number of foreign workers applied.  

"These requirements ensure that the industry does not abuse the system and bring in excessive number of workers. In fact, many manufacturers who had applied for foreign workers after the freeze on applications was lifted in February 2022 have held back bringing in their full approved quota numbers after experiencing subsequent slowdown in demand as they would not be able to sustain these workers," he said in a statement.

Soh added that there are major weaknesses in the entire recruitment process, and called for a more effective foreign worker management through a single Ministry and single end-to-end online system to ensure a holistic, fair and transparent administration of foreign workers in the country.

He said no other Ministry or agency should get involved in the process of employer eligibility in the recruitment process other than the single Ministry in charge, which should be the Ministry of Human Resources.  

"In addition, the government agencies responsible for the border controls at entry points should be more vigilant and exercise proper controls in admitting documented workers," he said.

FMM urged the resumption of foreign worker application and approval to cater for market driven worker needs.

"Having a total and across-the-board halt in the foreign worker application and approval process will intensify the challenging business environment for our industries at this current juncture which could impact growth of our industries and the economy at large," Soh said.

FMM represents over 12,200 member companies (3,800 direct and 8,400 indirect) from the manufacturing supply chain.

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