by RAHIMI YUNUS / graphic by TMR
The government, following the dispute between Nepali workers and Bestinet Sdn Bhd, is formulating a government-to-government (G2G) approach, which includes axing middlemen involvement in the hiring process of foreign workers.
Human Resources (HR) Deputy Minister Datuk Mahfuz Omar (picture) said the government has initiated the discussion at the Cabinet level, which is still ongoing, to figure out and come up with the perfect mechanism.
“We are still in talks with the Cabinet to create the best G2G approach,” Mahfuz said at the launch of the Technology Court, a project to equip industrial courts with digital recording systems, in Kuala Lumpur (KL) yesterday.
Before “G2G Plus”, Malaysia used to employ foreign workers directly from the source countries.
According to HR Minister M Kulasegaran, the government is looking to revert back to the old system. Also, by removing the middlemen the chances of corruption are reduced.
The foreign worker recruitment issue came to light when Nepali Times published an exposé that alleged high-rank
ing Nepali politicians, along with former Malaysian officials and their family members, to have been involved in the looting of more than five billion rupees (RM185.6 million) from over 600,000 Nepali workers between September 2013 and April 2018.
Bestinet was the centre of the allegations. It, however, denied all implications and maintained its position strictly as a service provider for health screening (Bio-Medical System) part in the processing of Nepalis who want to work in Malaysia..
Kathmandu has barred its labour forces coming to KL, citing “restrictive” immigration requirements and “monopoly” by a private company for security and medical check-ups had led to expensive charges.
Kulasegaran has called for his counterpart to go easy on the ban as a solution is being designed.
Mahfuz, meanwhile, urges all employers in the country should there be a retrenchment, to comply with the law and remove foreign workers first before locals.
“They must adhere to the law. Say for example they want to cut 100 people and there are 80 foreign workers on the list, they must let go of the 80 foreigners first,” he said.
Mahfuz said private sector employees will get a RM600 monthly allowance under the Employment Insurance System for a maximum of three months, as well as a reskilling programme if they lose their jobs.
He urges employers to settle any disputes with workers and the unions outside of court without the need of a hearing.
The industrial courts’ digital recording system, meanwhile has entered into its second phase with the commitment of RM7 million up until 2020.
Eight more hearing rooms have been fitted with high tech sound and video recording systems which are able to shorten the trial process, and subsequently expedite case settlement.
The first phase which was initiated in 2014 with the investment of RM4 million, started out with 12 hearing rooms.