By Sangeetha Amarthalingam
12 January 2016 | South China Morning Post
Widespread relief was felt among Malaysia’s industry employers after the country’s government postponed the mandatory imposition of foreign workers’ levy payment on employers until 2018.
Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said yesterday the deferment was necessary in the absence of a proper ecosystem under the newly introduced Employer Mandatory Commitment (EMC) to resolve issues involving foreign workers.
Revealing the cabinet’s decision after a thorough discussion and a presentation on the findings by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Paul Low from stakeholder meetings, Liow said it was a wise move.“For the EMC to work, there ought to be an ecosystem.
It cannot only be on the levy, it has to be overall. Low presented that the employers need the right to go direct to workers than [to] middlemen, how to cut down bureaucracy to get workers and many others. Currently, the ecosystem is not there.“In view of that, the cabinet has decided to defer the levy till 2018. We need to look at the whole ecosystem. We find that it is wise to delay the implementation, so we can put everything in place.
There are a lot of unresolved factors, so we [will] delay till next year to sort it out,” he said.Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Liow said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak would coordinate with the home ministry and human resources ministry to overcome the “hiccups” related to foreign workers.“We also voiced out that employment of foreign workers needs to be regulated and must ensure that it can support economic growth of the country.