Cost of hiring foreign workers goes up in Malaysia

PETALING JAYA, Malaysia (Sin Chew Daily/ANN) – Business owners urged the Malaysian government to cut red tape on the hiring of foreign workers in a bid to reduce costs. The latest policy on the recruitment of foreign workers is still pending.

Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF) executive director Shamuddin Bardan said employers are worried as the government has not released the latest policy on the recruitment of foreign workers.

He said prior to releasing the new policy, the government should continue to use existing policy on foreign workers.

According to Shamsuddin, the cost of hiring a foreign labour without middlemen range between RM1,500 to RM5,000. However, going through an agent will inflate the cost several folds from RM13,000 to RM14,000.

Federation of Malaysian Manufac-turers (FMM) President Soh Thian Lai said the previous government allowed too many agents to bring in foreign workers. FMM hoped that the government can set up a one-stop centre under the Human Resources Ministry to handle applications of foreign workers.

Soh, in a phone interview, said FMM will be discussing with the authorities on issues caused by the ban on intake of foreign workers from Bangladesh and Nepal.