PETALING JAYA: The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has revealed a number of weaknesses in the government’s management of foreign workers following an investigation.
PAC chairman Wong Kah Woh said this included the existence of middlemen, the granting of too many special approvals to circumvent existing regulations, and the entry of foreign workers who had failed their medical examinations.
The probe came in the wake of the auditor-general’s findings on the matter in the 2018 Series 1 report. The secretaries-general of the home and human resources ministries and the Immigration Department director-general took part in the PAC proceedings.
In a statement, Wong said the PAC found that the integration between the ePPAx and MyIMMs systems was not holistic, leading to government agencies being unable to fully share documents and data.
He also said more special approvals to bring in foreign workers were given than regular approvals.
“This is an unhealthy practice. This practice does not meet the original aim of the foreign worker quota application process, which is to ensure stringent screening of those who qualify (to bring in foreign labour).”
Wong said the PAC also found that a portion of the special approvals involved sub-sectors that were not allowed to bring in foreign workers and this affected job opportunities for Malaysians.
He said 20 police reports had been lodged on theft and misuse of user identification to apply for false quotas under the MyIMMs system but there was no outcome from the investigations.
“Incidents where a system can be breached so easily show clear weaknesses in a security system under a ministry in charge of national security,” he said.
He also highlighted how work permits were issued to foreigners who did not pass their medical examinations, and the need to improve the condition of immigration depots.
Wong said the PAC had made recommendations to the government, including the review of special approvals for the intake of foreign workers, with approvals only given where there was merit and for special projects announced by the Cabinet.
He also said no middlemen should be involved in such proceedings, and urged the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission to investigate.