KUALA LUMPUR: Industry leaders lauded the governments’ decision to defer the implementation of the Employer Mandatory Commitment (EMC) policy, but begged that industries be engaged on further proposed changes to foreign worker policy.
Malaysian Iron and Steel Industry Federation (Misif) president Datuk Soh Thian Lai told SunBiz the postponement is just a temporary solution and the government must ensure a business-friendly policy with transparency.
“We need a single and one-stop foreign worker recruitment authority with all SOP (standard operating procedures) put in place with all terms and conditions, and all employers (from all sectors) can just go online and apply. If they fulfil all conditions, then approval will be granted,” he said.
Soh suggests that the government form a Special Enforcement Taskforce with clear guidelines to enforce and regulate all foreign workers in Malaysia to prevent any malpractice and corruption.
Meanwhile, the Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers president Tan Sri Lim Wee Chai said the deferment would allow companies to plan and budget for the cost increase accordingly, as well as avoid any unnecessary industrial disharmony among existing and new foreign workers due to the different treatment in levy payment.
He stressed that the government should consult with the industry and provide early notification on any future changes to the foreign worker policy, which has pronounced cost implications, especially where the levy policy is concerned.
Master Builders Association Malaysia president Foo Chek Lee, who called the postponement a relief urged the process of hiring of foreign workers be more transparent, simplified and workers mobilised to the project site within one month; and the process of legalising existing illegal workers made more transparent, simpler and cheaper.
Malaysian Rubber Glove Manufacturers Association president Denis Low Jau Foo, who was heartened by the decision, pleaded with the government to expedite processes for foreign workers, explaining that the industry is in dire need of workers.
Meanwhile, International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed said the EMC is a good policy but the challenge is making sure that the implementation is seamless.
“We are not here to frustrate businesses. Our job is to facilitate businesses,” he said, speaking to reporters at a signing ceremony between Malaysian Investment Development Authority and Rockwell Automation yesterday.
Mustapa added that a proper paper on the issue will be presented to the Cabinet before coming up with a firm policy on labour issues.
“The two main things are implementation and engagement. We have to further improve our implementation machinery, make sure that whatever policies we put in place are effectively implemented, causing minimal difficulty,” he said.
– the Sun