Not using agents will save 80% in workers’ recruitment costs, says MEF

Stopping the use of foreign workers, as ordered by Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim, will reduce wages by 80%, according to the Federation of Malaysian Employers.

Its CEO, Syed Hussain Syed Husman, called the move “timely” as employers face many challenges in managing the costs of their jobs. “The decision to stop using the services of third-party workers will result in a revenue of approximately 80% of the cost of bringing in each foreign worker from the country,” he said in a statement. .

He said the reduction in wages would address one of the main indicators of forced labor faced by Malaysian workers – slavery. Syed Hussain said that due to the involvement of workers, foreign workers have no other choice but to take high interest loans or lend their property to pay high wages, thus putting them in the chain of debt.

He recommended that the government allow employers to legally employ refugees with a valid employment card from the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. “These refugees have already entered the country, including many skilled and unskilled workers,” he said.

He said that employers will not have to pay wages if refugees are allowed to work. Also, these refugees, if they have a job, will be required to pay taxes.

Yesterday, Anwar said he wanted the Home Office to stop using foreign workers because of the high cost involved. He added that the high fees charged by the police are “modern slavery”.

Employers have long been blamed for increasing the cost of employing foreign workers in Malaysia. Last February, the Human Resources Minister, Ms Saravanan, asked employers looking to hire foreign workers to apply directly to the post rather than through third party recruitment companies.

Saravanan said that applications from recruiting agencies will be rejected immediately. In 2018, his predecessor, M Kulasegaran, said that the ministry would review the work of civil servants.

A one-stop shop for the recruitment of foreign workers was set up under the supervision of the Ministry of Interior last December. The decision came less than six months after the previous government placed the facility under the supervision of the Ministry of Human Resources.

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