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FMM welcomes govt's move to streamline foreign labour recruitment process

FMM In The News: THE STAR, PETALING JAYA, Friday, January 6, 2023 - The Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM) welcomes the government’s announcement on providing speedier foreign workers recruitment processing and simplified procedures of application.

FMM president Tan Sri Soh Thian Lai said the announcement was in line with the government’s pledge to improve its service delivery levels towards enhancing the ease of doing business, competitiveness and sustainability of the industries and economy.

“The industry also welcomes the attention given by the government on the recent issues and concerns raised by industries in relation to the application process for foreign workers.

“The industry thanks the government for recognising the importance and complementary role that foreign workers play in supporting economic recovery, especially during this period of prolonged uncertainty with the outlook for 2023 forecast to be increasingly gloomy of which global growth is expected to slow down, global inflation to remain elevated and trade volume to contract,” he said in a statement on Friday (Jan 6).

Soh added that FMM noted the assurance by Home Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail that while the Home Ministry would be the “main custodian” in the management of foreign workers in Malaysia arising from this realignment in functions, the Human Resources Ministry’s role in labour policy and more importantly, in determining the foreign worker quota and finalising the agreements with source countries, will be maintained and strengthened further.

“In this regard, FMM would like to reiterate that there should be only one level of approval based on the quota approved by the Human Resources Ministry while the Home Ministry’s key role should only be confined to security matters and processing of the calling visa and workers’ work permits.

“In addition, we call for a Joint Ministry Approval Task Force Committee which would involve all the relevant regulatory agencies for the respective sectors,” he said.

Meanwhile, Soh said FMM stood by their earlier position that to further improve the efficiency of the entire foreign workers' management system, it would be imperative that a single agency handled the entire foreign worker employment process from end-to-end (recruitment to repatriation) via a single online system with no carve-outs of processing to third-party service providers and no cost to employers when accessing or using the system which was the current practice via the Foreign Worker Centralised Management System (FWCMS).

“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, 2023, the industry seeks an engagement with the ministries concerned to better understand the latest announcement and ensure a smooth transition arising from this realignment of functions,” he said.


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