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FMM: Only one single ministry as custodian of foreign worker management, please

FMM In The News: FOCUS MALAYSIA, Friday, January 6, 2023 - WHILE welcoming a speedier and simplified foreign worker recruitment processing and procedures, the Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM) has expressed disappointment over the non-existent of a single ministry as full custodian of foreign worker management.

FMM said it has taken cognisant of the assurance by Home Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail that while his ministry will be the “main custodian” in the management of foreign workers in Malaysia following a realignment in functions while the Human Resources Ministry (MOHR) shall maintain its role in labour policy and determining the foreign worker quota/finalising the agreements with source countries.

“In this regard, FMM would like to reiterate that there should be only one level of approval based on the quota approval by MOHR while the Home Affairs Ministry’s (MOHA) key role should only be confined to security matters and processing of the calling visa (VDR)) and workers’ work permits,” its president Tan Sri Soh Thian Lai pointed out.

“In addition, we call for a joint ministry approval taskforce committee which would involve all the relevant regulatory agencies for the respective sectors.”

Notwithstanding the announcement, FMM said it stands by its earlier position that to further improve the efficiency of the entire foreign workers management system, it would be imperative that a single agency handles the entire foreign workers’ employment process.

“This is from end-to-end (recruitment to repatriation) basis via a single online system with no carve outs of processing to third party service providers and no cost to employers when accessing/using the system which is the current practice via the Foreign Worker Centralised Management System (FWCMS),” insisted Soh.

“Having a single system would also ensure that only a single central repository of foreign workers database be maintained, removal of discretionary powers of officers to approve applications, prompt communication and issues resolved faster as employers only deal with a single agency and system.”

Given that the changes would come into effect from Jan 15, the voice of the Malaysian manufacturing sector since 1968 is seeking an engagement with both MOHR and MOHA to better understand the latest announcement and ensure a smooth transition arising from this realignment of functions. – Jan 6, 2023

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