Malaysia continues to freeze foreign workers recruitment

PUTRAJAYA – Today’s Cabinet meeting decided to continue the application and approval quota freeze for the recruitment of foreign workers, said the Home Minister.

Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail said the Cabinet took that approach because it found there was no need to withdraw the freezing order because the amount of existing quotas approved was sufficient.

“The Cabinet also agreed to establish a one-stop center (to speed up the approval process of foreign worker applications).

“The agency leading it will be under the Ministry of Home Affairs,” he said in a special press conference here this afternoon.

Saifuddin Nasution insisted that the memorandum of understanding (MoU) with source countries that supply foreign workers will also be reviewed.

“The Cabinet agreed to review the process with 15 resource countries. However, we will give priority to three countries namely Nepal, Bangladesh and Indonesia because they provide about 77 percent of foreign workers in this country,” he added.

Saifuddin Nasution also said that the government will implement the Migrant Repatriation Program starting next March 1.

The move is to facilitate the repatriation of foreigners who do not have travel documents in this country by the Immigration Department.

“These people will be allowed to return home after they pay the compound and will be exempted from the prosecution process.

“This program is a repatriation amnesty that we will publicize to be used by those involved to facilitate repatriation,” he said.

Saifuddin Nasution however said before that, they were compounded for immigration offenses committed including entering Malaysia without documents, violating conditions and overstaying.

A maximum compound of RM500 is charged for each immigration offense committed.

For the record, the Workforce Recalibration program ended on December 31 last year, which gave employers the opportunity to apply for illegal foreign workers to fill labor needs.

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