Monday, February 15, 2016

Migrant workers big business for Putrajaya, says DAP lawmaker

The real problem with migrant workers in the country is the government's policy allowing key players to make money from the business of importing them, a DAP lawmaker said today. Steven Sim said that the government was raking in billions of ringgit from the migrant workers business, and that the first major player was Putrajaya, which earned between RM861 million and RM1.8 billion annually from the levy ranging from RM410 to RM1,850 per person. Sim, who heads DAP's parliamentary committee chairman for human resources, added that the recently announced higher levy rate, as well as a processing fee of RM125 and permit fee of RM60, would give additional revenue of up to RM2.5 billion. "With these, we are looking at about RM400 million, minus visa charges which vary according to the workers' country of origin. If we take the lowest visa charges at RM13 (for Vietnamese nationals), that will be RM27.3 million in total. "As such being in this migrant workers business brings the federal government about RM2 billion in revenue annually and with the levy increase, this is expected to rise to RM3 billion," the Bukit Mertajam MP said in a statement today. He said the sector was dominated by four private companies importing migrant workers, namely NERS Sdn Bhd, MyEg Sdn Bhd, Synerflux Sdn Bhd. and Fomema Sdn Bhd, adding that the first three companies had conflicting roles. Sim (pic, right) added while there were many smaller agencies and service providers in the multi-billion ringgit industry, the four were the biggest private sector players "with the juiciest pieces cut out for them by the federal government". "All four companies were or will be awarded their respective contracts via direct negotiation. "At least three of them have direct connection to Umno leaders," Sim said. As such, he questioned why these companies were allowed to pocket hundreds of millions for doing essentially the same thing which one entity can sufficiently do. "If the government is already paying hundreds of millions to NERS, for example, to issue the Visit Pass (Temporary Employment), why should MyEG be given another hundreds of millions to do the renewal when NERS can be tasked to do the same thing? "Or why these companies should even be appointed as mega middlemen to earn easy money when Immigration Department itself can actually perform the tasks?" Sim asked. He said there was an urgent need for a well-planned national human resource blueprint to address the migrant worker issue and map out local talents, recognise the needs of the industry, identify gaps and lay out a strategic plan to maximise the workforce. "Without such route map, we are merely shooting in the dark. "We will end up with the current situation where the government claimed on one hand, that they are bringing in more migrant workers due to the demand of the employers and the industry responded on the other hand that the government must ensure there are enough jobs available for these incoming workers. "Again, this is caused by a situation where the interest is not exactly to match human resources to local businesses but rather to do business out of human resources," he said. – February 16, 2016.]]>

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