PETALING JAYA: Putrajaya has shot down suggestions to increase the age limit in the enforcement-card registration of foreign workers from 45 to 55, saying it would be open to abuse.
“We are concerned that some will abuse it because they will become eligible to apply for PR (permanent residence) status if they stay more than 10 years,” The Star quoted Deputy Home Minister Nur Jazlan Mohamed as saying.
He was responding to the suggestion made by a number of restaurant owners who have to register their foreign workers under the Immigration Department’s E-kad programme, starting Feb 15.
The registration can be made at any Immigration Department office in the peninsula. E-kad registration will be free and valid for a year.
Nur Jazlan also said that employers should focus on hiring locals and have a younger workforce to improve productivity.
“Employing foreign workers also deprives our local people of job opportunities. And now they want to hire older foreign workers. They need to look at the bigger picture,” he told The Star.
Meanwhile, Malaysian Employers Federation executive director Shamsuddin Bardan said the introduction of the E-kad programme was a positive move and would minimise the problem of lost passports and travel documents.
“The E-kad reader should be made available to all enforcement agencies so that cases of foreign workers being detained for not having the original documents on their person will not recur,” he said.
SME Association of Malaysia president Michael Kang said he received positive feedback from many employers and hoped the programme would be implemented smoothly.