BAGAN DATUK: The move to allow employers to hire foreign domestic helpers directly from nine source countries without having to go through an agent could save them up to 50% of current costs, says Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
Zahid, who is also Home Minister, said employers currently had to bear the entire cost of between RM12,000 and RM18,000 (per worker) when bringing in foreign domestic helpers.
“There were instances when employers have to hire or change domestic helpers three to four times a year for various reasons, and end-up paying up to RM80,000, way above their annual incomes,” he said.
He was speaking to reporters after officiating the ground-breaking ceremony for the construction of the Bagan Datuk-Kampung Sejagop Bridge in central Perak district here today.
While tabling Budget 2018 in the Dewan Rakyat yesterday, Prime Minister Najib Razak also announced that employers could apply for their foreign domestic helpers’ visas online from the Immigration Department, at the existing levy and processing fee rates.
Zahid explained that employers could first apply for a 30-day social visit visa online for their foreign domestic helpers.
“Within the 30-day period, employers can apply online for the Visit Pass-Temporary Employment (PLKS) to enable the foreigners to work as domestic helpers,” he said.
He said it was different previously, as potential employers who wanted to hire foreign domestic helpers from the nine countries including Indonesia, the Philippines, Myanmar, Vietnam and Bangladesh, had to either go to the respective country themselves or hire an agent.
Zahid also said employers need not worry about the security aspects of recruiting foreign domestic helpers on their own and explained, “The country has adequate security systems including the Biometric, BioMedical and security scanning systems.”