KUALA LUMPUR, 10 Nov 2016:

As of Sept 30, a total of 1.85 million foreigners in the country were found to have valid Temporary Employment Passes (PLKS), the Dewan Rakyat was told today.

The home ministry said the number represented foreign workers employed legally with PLKS issued by the Immigration Department.

“Employment of foreign workers is a temporary measure to cover vacancies. In addition, after the expiry of the period of employment, foreign workers must return to their respective countries.

“The government, on Feb 19 had decided to suspend all new applications for recruitment of foreign workers, including Bangladeshis, until it ascertained the actual needs of the industry,” the ministry said in a written reply distributed in the Parliament lobby.

The question came from Lim Lip Eng (DAP-Segambut), who had asked the home minister to explain the policy of hiring foreign workers, the number of foreign workers in Malaysia and their origin, and the charges that applied.

The ministry said the most number of foreign workers was from Indonesia at 749,266, followed by Nepal (411,364), Bangladesh (237,991), Myanmar (140,259), India (121,430) and others (194,374).

It said among the charges for the recruitment of foreign workers were levies, in accordance to the sector grouped into two categories.

Category One consists of manufacturing, construction and services sectors with a levy of RM1,850, while the second category includes plantations and agriculture with a levy of RM640.

For the informal sector of foreign house maids, the rate is RM410.

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