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Include us in SOP talks on foreign workers, says FMM

FMM In The News: FREE MALAYSIA TODAY, KUALA LUMPUR, Saturday, December 11, 2021 - The Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM) has requested that industry players be included in talks on SOPs on the entry of foreign workers to ensure that SOPs are workable and will not add an unnecessary cost burden on employers.

FMM president Soh Thian Lai said they also hoped that the SOPs will be announced soon.

“We look forward to the quick release of the SOPs and request that the industry be involved in the discussions to ensure that the SOPs are practicable and will not add unnecessary cost to employers during this fragile economic period,” he said in a statement today reported by Bernama.

“The industry is cognisant of the threats brought by the pandemic and the need to ensure that the entry of the workers does not add to the health risks.

“But, at the same time, we request that the SOPs do not impose undue financial constraints on employers and for there to be full transparency on all cost elements involved,” he said.

The FMM, he added, was “most grateful” for the government’s decision to resume recruitment of foreign workers, which will assist in the nation’s economic recovery.

“It would also restore confidence in Malaysia as a manufacturing hub and global supply chain player and improve the country’s export competitiveness.”

As for the postponement of the multi-tier levy mechanism to July, Soh said FMM had always supported the levy, which would allow market forces to determine outcomes and provide clarity and certainty to approvals.

The multi-tier levy will also reduce bureaucracy and remove opportunities for abuse and corruption, he added.

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

Soh reminded employers to be responsible and continue to ensure strict  compliance with all labour and employment laws as well as human resources standards and practices when employing foreign workers.

In the long term, concerted efforts such as greater technology adoption and automation of processes would have to be taken to reduce dependence on foreign workers, he said.

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