As of end September this year, a total of 1.85 million foreigners in Malaysia were found to have valid Temporary Employment Passes (PLKS), the home ministry said.
According to The Rakyat Post, the Dewan Rakyat was told that the number represented foreign workers employed legally with PLKS issued by the Immigration Department.
“Employment of foreign workers is a temporary measure to cover vacancies. In addition, after the expiry of the period of employment, foreign workers must return to their respective countries," the ministry said in a written reply distributed in the Parliament lobby, answering a question from Lim Lip Eng (DAP-Segambut), who had asked about the policy of hiring foreign workers, the number of foreign workers in Malaysia and their origin, and the charges that applied.
“The government, on Feb 19 had decided to suspend all new applications for recruitment of foreign workers, including Bangladeshis, until it ascertained the actual needs of the industry,” the ministry added.
"The ministry said the most number of foreign workers was from Indonesia at 749,266, followed by Nepal (411,364), Bangladesh (237,991), Myanmar (140,259), India (121,430) and others (194,374)," The Rakyat Post reported.
According to the ministry, the charges for the recruitment of foreign workers were levies, in accordance to the sector grouped into two categories:
- Category One which consists of manufacturing, construction and services sectors with a levy of RM1,850
- Category Two which includes plantations and agriculture with a levy of RM640.
As for the informal sector of foreign house maids, the levy rate is RM410.
Malaysia awaits arrival of 8,000 from Bangladesh
Following up on Malaysia's intention to expedite hiring of Bangladeshi workers, it is reported that Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri Richard Riot will visit Bangladesh this week regarding the 8,000 Bangladesh workers who have been given Malaysian work permits months ago but have yet to arrive in Malaysia.
"The Cabinet had directed the human resources minister to visit Bangladesh to find out the situation there. Believe it (the delay) is due to some technical issues," Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Seri Mah Siew Keong said when he officiated at the opening of United Malaysian Contractors Association's new building in Kuala Lumpur, reported The Financial Express.
Citing a report in Sin Chew Daily, The Financial Express wrote: "he said the government granted approvals four to five months ago for furniture manufacturers to bring in these workers.
But after having paid for the necessary levies, the workers have been postponing their trips, he said, adding that many in the furniture industry are forced to stop their operations and turn down new orders."
Photo / 123RF