1.9 million foreign workers in Malaysia
Foreign worker levy hike in 2011
By Asrul Hadi Abdullah Sani
May 20, 2010
Malaysia has nearly two million foreign workers. — Reuters pic
PUTRAJAYA, May 20 — Malaysia will raise the levy on foreign workers in 2011, after having deferred the implementation last year, Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin announced today.
He said the quantum of increase would vary based on the specific sectors which employ the foreign workers.
“We determine the rate of levy according to the different sectors of the industry. This means that the levy will differ according to the sectors and also in terms of the percentage of the foreign workforce that the industry employs.
“That means if the workforce is higher than the levy will be higher,” Muhyiddin told reporters after attending the Cabinet committee meeting on foreign and illegal workers here.
He added that the government plans to update the system to help the entry of foreign workers.
“We will establish a system for gathering for data and information on foreign workers in which relevant ministries can have access to. Basically, we have to improve upon our system on managing foreign workers — the software, the hardware, data — all of this will be updated and coordinated,” he added.
According to Muhyiddin, the government would also offer amnesty to foreign workers when the integrated biometric identification system is in place.
“We agreed that amnesty will be given after the system is updated in KDN (the Home Ministry), including [a] system to introduce biometric (identification) to ensure that every worker and visitor who comes to Malaysia will be recorded.
“However, it depends on the Home Ministry and Immigration (Department) on when the system can be implemented. Then, the process of amnesty will begin for illegal workers.
“After that, we will take action against employers that harbour workers without permits,” Muhyiddin said.
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