Panel to streamline intake of foreign workers completes report

Foreign workers have complained of delays in renewing their work permits.

PETALING JAYA: The independent committee set up by the Cabinet to streamline policies and management of foreign workers has completed its report, which will be submitted to the government soon.

The committee, headed by former Court of Appeal judge Hishamudin Yunus, was formed on Aug 29 last year to come up with suggestions to the government on the holistic intake of foreign workers.

Human Resources Minister M Kulasegaran said the committee would submit its report soon, adding however that it would not be made public yet.

“Among other things, the committee held a town hall session during which more than 100 petitions were handed to it,” he said.

Kulasegaran said he had discussed the matter with Home Minister Muhyiddin Yassin and would hold a meeting with the relevant ministers on Feb 28 to deliberate on issues relating to foreign workers.

Complaints of delays in the renewal of work permits have surfaced since June last year.

Tenaganita executive director Glorene A Das had attributed the problem in part to a lack of transparency in the renewal procedure.

Former immigration department enforcement chief Ishak Mohamed meanwhile called on the government to speed up its review of policies on the management of foreign workers to prevent any disturbance to the current system of renewing work permits.

He said there had been delays in the renewal of permits ever since the new government took over Putrajaya.

Kulasegaran said there was no restriction on bringing in foreign workers or in the application and renewal of work permits.

“There is no limitation on foreign workers, except for those from Bangladesh,” he said.

He said the government had suspended the intake of Bangladeshi workers pending an investigation into the system used to hire the workers.

“There is no problem with other countries. We have even started negotiating MoUs with India, Indonesia and a few other Asean countries.”