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FMM says reopening of foreign worker recruitment will assist recovery of businesses, economy

FMM In The News: THE EDGE MARKETS, KUALA LUMPUR, Saturday, December 11, 2021 - The Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM) is most grateful for the fast action by the government in announcing the reopening of foreign worker recruitment from source countries to assist industries and improve the rate and pace of the business and economic recovery.

"It would also restore the confidence and reliability of Malaysia as a manufacturing hub and global supply chain player in the region and improve our export competitiveness.

“We look forward to the quick release of the standard operating procedures (SOPs) for the entry of foreign workers and request that the industry be involved in the discussions to ensure that the SOPs are practicable and at the same time do not add an unnecessary cost burden on employers during this fragile economic period,” its president Tan Sri Soh Thian Lai said in a statement here on Saturday (Dec 11).

The FMM is cognisant of the prevailing health threat of the Covid-19 pandemic and the need to ensure that the entry of the workers do not add to the health risk but at the same time requests that the SOPs do not impose undue financial constraints on employers and for there to be full transparency of all cost elements involved.

The federation also noted that the implementation of the multi-tier levy mechanism had been postponed to July 1, 2022 and thanked the government for recognising the timing sensitivity of implementing this policy change.

Soh said the FMM had always supported the implementation of the multi-tier levy mechanism to allow the forces of demand and supply to determine outcomes and effectively influence market behaviour without distortions, provide clarity and certainty to approvals, reduce bureaucracy, and remove opportunities for abuse and corruption.

“We humbly request that the details of the multi-tier levy and the rate be announced by January 2022 to give industries the necessary time to plan and adjust to the new levy system.”

At the same time, the FMM continued to remind industries to be responsible employers and continue to ensure strict adherence and compliance with all labour and employment laws and human resources standards and practices when employing foreign workers.

In the long term, concerted efforts have to be taken to reduce the dependence on foreign workers, including greater technology adoption and automation of processes, according to the federation.

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