|Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Cabinet to postpone levy payment on foreign workers      

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PUTRAJAYA, Jan 11: The Cabinet has agreed to postpone to next year, the implementation of levy payment on foreign workers by employers, which will be enforced under the Employer Mandatory Commitment (EMC).

Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said the Cabinet today, had also agreed to look into a proper ecosystem, aimed at providing convenience to industries in hiring foreign workers, and to ensure the country’s economic growth.

He said the decision was made after a presentation by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Paul Low who gave the overall picture pertaining to the EMC.

“It is not just on levy, but on the rights of the employer to have direct access towards the workers, rather than going through a middle man, how to cut down bureaucracy procedures and how to have fast employment of foreign workers.

“At the meeting, we also voiced out the need to regulate employment of foreign workers and ensure it can support our economic growth, without giving problem to our social issues,” he told reporters here today.

On Dec 31, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, who is also home minister, had announced employers would be responsible for paying the levy of their foreign workers which would be enforced under the EMC.

Under the scheme, the employers would be disallowed from deducting the levy from the wages of their workers.

Yesterday, construction industry players wanted the EMC to be scrapped as it did not benefit the country.

Liow said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak had agreed to look into these matter personally and would coordinate with the home ministry and human resources ministry to “take care of whatever hiccups” to resolve the issue.

“The Cabinet is clear that our foreign worker policy must be vibrant and able to solve the present shortage of foreign workers in the country,” he said, adding the Cabinet Committee on Foreign Workers would meet soon.