Govt to implement a unified system for expatriate recruitment process

This integrated system is expected to shorten time and reduce the bureaucracy associated with the recruitment of foreign talents


STARTING June 15, the visa application system for foreign workers and professionals will be integrated into the Xpats Gateway system, a single window approach (SWA) to ease the recruitment process.

Economic Minister Rafizi Ramli (picture) said this is to facilitate a faster recruiting process with less bureaucracy and the process of streamlining will be done in stages.

For the first stage, Talent Corp Malaysia Bhd will enhance the development of the existing Xpats Gateway system and requires all the parties directly involved in the expatriate management to streamline and manage the administration process through it accordingly.

“Previously, the involves parties in the process are working separately with multiple processes, but starting June 15, they will have their own system, and all the private agencies just need to go through the system for the process,” he said after the special task force to facilitate business (Pemudah) meeting today.

Rafizi further explained that the second stage will involve the approving agencies and regulatory agencies involved such as Malaysia Digital Economy Corp Sdn Bhd and Iskandar Regional Development Authority to integrate them through the application programme interface that will be fully operational on Aug 15.

“Two months are given for the preparation process among agencies to migrate their process before the unified system will come into force,” he added.

The economic minister also highlighted that the new system will also ensure the application process in Tier 1, Tier 2 working sector and other important sectors will be shortened and processed within five working days.

In addition, he said Pemudah also will implement the shift from a headcount-based method to a performance-based method for the contractors in the cleaning industry of which 75% of the workforce consisted of foreign workers.

“Not only that, among the challenges for the contractor involved in this tender regardless of private or public is a condition to recruit as many workers as up to 300. Consequently, when there were no locals interested, they had to hire foreign (workers),” he said.

Rafizi said this condition discourages incentives in the cleaning sector particularly in the use of technology compared to other sectors that have already been evaluated based on performance.

The implementation is part of the effort to shift the cleaning and washing industry from labour-intensive and low-skilled industries to industries that are highly skilled and technology-based.

“For this to happen, we need to move from headcount based on performance-based,” he added.

With this, Rafizi said contractors can evaluate performance based on their creativity but must comply with certain criteria including productivity improvement plans, innovation and technology, in addition to operational criteria, price, quality and work record.

He said a pilot project will be carried out in selected areas so that the contractor may begin implementing a performance-based method and identify where to invest in equipment and using less manpower as well as attracting more local workers.

“The success of the pilot project will pave (the) way for government and private contractors to expand the method to other agencies as well,” he said.