GOMBAK: The Immigration Department is engaging with employer associations to clarify the move to force bosses to pay the annual levy of foreign workers.
Immigration Department director-general Datuk Seri Mustafar Ali said that over the past week several meetings were held with associations which requested further information on the levy that was announced by Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi last week.
“The levy imposed on employers is a provision to ensure they are responsible for their foreign workers,” he said after signing a strategic partnership with International Islamic University Malaysia (UIAM) here yesterday.
“Yesterday (Thursday), I met with several associations to explain the reasons behind the implementation.
“I hope they can accept this implementation that is made for the benefit of the nation,” Mustafar said, adding that the department would have several more meetings next week to explain the levy to associations.
Last Saturday, Dr Ahmad Zahid announced that employers would now be responsible for paying the levy of foreign workers – ranging from RM1,500 to RM2,500 depending on the industry – instead of deducting it from the workers’ wages.
Meanwhile, on the regulation to freeze the assets and bank accounts of employers who hire foreigners illegally in the industrial sector, Mustafar said that as of October 2016, a total of 15 companies were being investigated.
He also added that the assets of three companies, totalling RM26mil, were set to be frozen over their harbouring or hiring of illegal foreign workers.
Also present at the event was UIAM president Tan Sri Rais Yatim, the former Minister for Information, Communication and Culture.