Brunei looks to reduce number of foreign workers’ families

Azlan Othman

The system is being strengthened to reduce the number of dependents joining semi-skilled foreign workers in the country, Minister of Home Affairs Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Kerna Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Haji Awang Abu Bakar bin Haji Apong said.

Family members or dependents often join the foreign workers via social visit passes. Meanwhile, another option to have dependents join the workers is based on wages. “We also compare this with practices in other nations. We are strengthening such practice to reduce the number of dependents joining foreign workers families,” he said.

Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Kerna Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Haji Awang Abu Bakar was responding to Yang Berhormat Haji Mohimin bin Haji Johari @ Jahari yesterday on foreign workers engaging in freelance work, misusing job quota, bringing family members and enjoying the nation’s subsidies, and passing the business from one generation to the next, causing losses to the point of being considered a national problem that has to be overcome to protect the people’s well-being.

On efforts to impose levy on positions, like supervisor, driver and cashier, raised by Yang Berhormat Haji Mohimin, the minister said his ministry is in discussion with the Manpower Planning and Employment Council (MPEC) as a levy has been formulated that is awaiting implementation and fine-tuning.

Meanwhile, the minister said there are 10 agencies at the four control posts, excluding the Putat Control Post, with relevant agencies taking action to enhance safety measures at the control posts.

Yang Berhormat Haji Mohimin asked on efforts taken to further strengthen security at the border control posts and steps taken to tackle prohibited items entering through the posts, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

He said only two enforcement agencies, the Royal Brunei Police Force and Immigration and National Registration Department, are stationed at the Putat Control Post.