The business community is in desperate need of workers to support their operations and tide them through the current challenging economic environment
by AUFA MARDHIAH / pic by HUSSEIN SHAHARUDDIN
THE business community is calling for urgent action and coordinated facilitation by all agencies involved in the foreign workers recruitment process.
The National Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Malaysia (NCCIM) president Tan Sri Soh Thian Lai said although the Human Resources Ministry’s one stop centre has approved close to 510,000 quota applications for foreign workers with levy having been settled for close to 437,000 quotas approved, only around 76,000 workers (17%) of the levy paid quota have arrived in Malaysia as of last week.
“These figures, with over RM742 million over levy paid by the employers, are both alarming and frustrating given that the business community is in desperate need of workers to support their operations and tide them through the current challenging economic environment,” he said in a statement today.
He added that although the interview process is now more organised and efficient, a further obstacle in the recruitment process is the long period for the approval of a call visa by the Immigration Department, especially in the Klang Valley which can take almost six weeks.
“This leaves employers confused on the situation when most of the information is already in the system.
“In addition, employers also gave feedback that the level of service at the Immigration Department was not in line with the urgency of the business,” he said.
To make the situation worse, Soh mentioned that employers are also stuck with on-call visas that cannot be processed online which requires them to make several trips to the Immigration Department which to some is a waste of resources and time, considering the many trips and waiting time at the Immigration counter.
“Ideally, all processes should be conducted online via a single online system to improve the efficiency of the process and shorten the waiting time between processes to expedite mobilisation of workers. The business community, specifically seeks coordinated support and facilitation of all the government agencies, in particular the Immigration Department, to deploy more approving officers to the states with larger number of foreign worker applications during this period.
“Concurrently, the issue of insufficient flights is also another obstacle to the rapid arrival of workers. We hope that local airlines will be given approval by the aviation authorities to increase the frequency of flights from destinations where the majority of workers are bound to facilitate the mobilisation of workers for the business sector,” he further added.