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FMM criticises government’s flip-flop on foreign worker management policy

FMM In The News: THE EDGE MARKETS, KUALA LUMPUR, Friday, December 23, 2022 - The Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM) has criticised the government's decision to back-pedal on the existing policies on foreign worker management matters by moving the One-Stop Centre (OSC) for the recruitment of foreign workers back to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MOHA), while the One-Channel System (OCS) to recruit domestic workers (domestic helpers/maids) remains under the purview of the Ministry of Human Resources (MOHR).

In a statement on Friday (Dec 23), FMM said the industry is most disappointed with the constant flip-flops and knee-jerk changes to foreign worker policies, which have over the years proven to be very damaging, especially on investor confidence.

It said the changes in policies have led to a lot of frustration amongst employers due to confusion in the processes, resulting in employers being given a run-around from ministry to ministry in addition to delays in processing and approval, which are very costly to employers as it impacts their ability to get workers on a timely basis and meet their order obligations.

FMM said the impact is even more damaging now as the country is just recovering from the Covid-19 pandemic in addition to the current global economic challenges, which are envisaged to impact economic performance in 2023.

FMM president Tan Sri Soh Thian Lai said there is great concern that this flip-flop in the policy will set back business and economic recovery as there would be a recalibration of the policy and system by MOHA after taking over foreign worker management.

“We see this flip-flop in the FW (foreign worker) management policy as a regression to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s call for greater efficiency in the public service delivery.

“FMM stands firm that a single agency handling the entire FW employment process from end-to-end (recruitment to repatriation) via a single online system is key to ensuring clarity/transparency and greater efficiency of the system and improving investor confidence,” he said.

Soh called on the government to review the decision to split the role of foreign worker management between MOHA and MOHR.

“The entire processing of labour demand must be handled by MOHR while MOHA should focus on security issues, issuance of the relevant visa and border control measures as done in other countries that have similar dependence on foreign workers to complement the country’s manpower requirements,” he said.


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