Draft report on foreign workers' management is ready — Kula Segaran

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KUCHING (Dec 13): The Foreign Workers' Management Independent Committee's draft report containing over 40 recommendations relating to the recruitment of foreign workers has been completed, and will be tabled to the Ministry of Human Resources and the Ministry of Home Affairs in the near future.

Human Resource Minister M Kula Segaran said the committee led by former Court of Appeals Judge Datuk Seri Hishamuddin Yunus was vital in coordinating all laws relating to hiring foreign workers in various sectors within the country.

He said the Government intends to restructure all foreign workers' recruitment policies, stipulating that all applications need to be made online, and the Human Resources Ministry would only process applications, while the approval would be given by the Home Ministry.

Speaking to reporters after meeting with Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg at his office here, Kula Segaran said Malaysia would have to sign new Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) with Bangladesh, Indonesia, and other countries since the existing MoUs had passed their expiration dates.

Meanwhile, referring to the views of the Khazanah Research Institute (KRI) on determining minimum wage, the Human Resource Minister said some of the proposals — including, for example, setting minimum wages according to the particular area's living costs and work sector — may be taken into consideration in the future.

He said the current minimum wage level set for the whole country was to standardise the amount to facilitate enforcement actions.

In September, the Central Government agreed that the minimum wage level for the whole country, including Sabah and Sarawak, would be set at RM1,050 a month and RM5.05 per hour with effect from Jan 1.

Yesterday, KRI chief editor and senior fellow, Dr Lim Lin Lean, reportedly said that every State in Malaysia had different costs of living and the minimum wage policy should also take this into account.

Meanwhile, referring to the construction of the Industrial Training Institute (ILP) in Serian, about 60 km from here, Kula Segaran said he had visited the project site today and would be making several recommendations to the Ministry of Finance to continue with the project.

"However it is up to the Finance Ministry (to approve it)," he added.