Govt mulls allowing companies deport detained migrants home

by NUR HANANI AZMAN / pic by BERNAMA

THE proposal to let big companies to fund the deportation costs of foreign workers without permit in depot will be brought to the Cabinet, said Home Affairs (KDN) Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin.

In return, the company will be given a quota for the employment of new foreign workers who will go through strict health screening based on the Covid-19 standard operating procedures, Hamzah added.

According to the minister, of the total number of foreign workers in the depot, only 15% will be allowed to work, while the rest need to be deported back for various reasons, such as criminal records.

“You send back one, we let you hire one,” he told reporters after a joint committee meeting between KDN and Human Resources Ministry yesterday.

The meeting decided to postpone the implementation of the multi-tier foreign worker levy system — which was supposed to begin on Jan 1, 2020 — to July 1, 2021, due to the impact of Covid-19 on industrial growth.

The joint committee meeting on the management of foreign workers also decided to review the rate in the multi-tier levy for each sector to ensure the effectiveness of its implementation in the future.

Hamzah said the meeting also discussed the proposal to close the employment of foreign workers for the frozen subsectors: Metals/waste goods and recycle.

To date, there are currently 21,154 people employed under the sub-sector with 2,931 of them are foreigners.

There are from India (1,540) Bangladesh (676), Indonesia (285), Nepal (208), Myanmar (129), others (93).

The meeting also agreed to the employment of foreign workers for the position of goldsmith, considered under the Professional Visit Pass that aims to train local goldsmith.

“KDN will also review the expatriate employment policy with strategic collaboration between Talent Corp Malaysia Bhd and Malaysia Digital Economy Corp.

“There is a need to improve employment pass to balance human resource needs by prioritising local talents compared to foreigners, especially after the occurrence of the Covid-19 worldwide,” he explained.

The last review and study conducted by the ministry on expatriate employment policy was on Dec, 20 2016.