PUTRAJAYA, Feb 5, 2016:

The Rehiring Programme to enable foreign workers without permits to be given valid work permits would be implemented online beginning Feb 15, said Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

Ahmad Zahid, who is also the Home Minister, said the programme would be initially implemented for three months and was expected to benefit about two million workers without valid work permits.

The programme would safeguard these workers from being cheated by unscrupulous foreign worker agents who undertook such registration, he told reporters after addressing the monthly assembly at the Home Ministry here.

“Some employers who went through agents previously found that their workers were not registered after they had paid the fees.

“This (online programme) can also prevent cases of employers not paying the levy for their workers,” he said. Ahmad Zahid said the programme would be continued if there was good response from employers and foreign workers without permits.

When announcing the recalibrated Budget 2016 on Jan 28, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak had disclosed the Rehiring Programme, saying it was to fulfill industry demands as well as to enable the government to ascertain the number of foreign workers without permits in the country for the purpose of security monitoring.

Ahmad Zahid also said that the Home Ministry would meet employers after the Chinese New Year to discuss the implementation of the new rates of levy for foreign workers.

The government had taken note of the complaints and criticism of the employers in this regard, and would use the meeting to obtain feedback and fine-tune the implementation of the higher levy, he said.

Ahmad Zahid said Najib had contacted him on the matter while he (Ahmad Zahid) was in Beijing on a recent visit and wanted him to relook the rates of levy as well as the period of implementation.

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