Malaysia is one of Asia's biggest employers of foreign labour. But recently, cases of deaths, abuse and forced labour have come to light. What is going on? Who is protecting these migrant workers?
SIBU: The levy for foreign workers has been increased, in some cases to double what employers are paying.
Effective today, those in the manufacturing and construction sectors will have to pay RM2,500, up from RM1,250.
Those in the services sector will be levied the same amount, compared to the RM1,850 previously.
Foreign workers in the plantation and agriculture sectors will have to pay a levy of RM1,500.
The levy for foreign domestic workers remains at RM410.
Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, who announced this yesterday, said the revised levy would bring an additional revenue of RM2.5bil to the Government’s coffers.
The new rates are in line with the recalibrated Budget announced by the Prime Minister last week, when he said that foreign workers would be categorised under two main tiers from the previous six.
Dr Ahmad Zahid said the restructuring of the levy was done as the 2.135 million registered foreign workers enjoyed many benefits meant for Malaysians, such as food subsidy and other services.
“The restructuring of the levy is also for us to have better control and management of foreign workers in the country,” he told a press conference during his visit to University College of Technology Sarawak yesterday.
Dr Ahmad Zahid said the new rates were in line with the national economic scenario and also that at international level.
“We do acknowledge the vital role they (foreign workers) play in nation-building and our economy,” he said.
On the Sarawak Barisan Nasional’s performance in the coming state election, he said the popularity of Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem should be translated into votes.
“Sarawakians have to take this opportunity to be together in fully supporting the leadership of Adenan because he is not only providing continuity of good leadership from the previous CM, he is also very popular in his approach in addressing issues in relation to the needs of Sarawakians,” he added.
Dr Ahmad Zahid also came to the defence of Adenan for proposing the dates for nomination and polling.
“He knows the decision to fix these dates is the prerogative of the Election Commission. He was only making the proposal as the final decision is with the EC,” he explained.
Source: The Star Online
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