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Malaysia to scrap hiring of foreign workers through agents

Malaysia, which is due to sign a bilateral labour agreement with Nepal next month, is gearing up to abolish the system of hiring foreign workers through recruiting agencies.

Malaysian Home Minister Muhyiddin Yassin has said the prior system of hiring foreign workers through agents or private companies will be scrapped soon, according to local media.


At present, the Malaysian Home Ministry outsources the task of recruiting foreign workers to more than 100 companies. Under the proposed mechanism, the Human Resource Ministry, in conjunction with private employment agencies (PEA), would be responsible for hiring migrant workers for the country. Private employment agencies or recruitment agencies are regulated by the country’s Private Employment Agencies Act-1981.

Speaking to the media after chairing a joint committee meeting with the Human Resource Ministry on the management of foreign workers at Parliament on Wednesday, Malaysian Home Minister Muhyiddin said that the PEAs are subject to a special act to ensure the intake of foreign workers is better managed according to the existing regulations and law, a local online news portal Malaysiakini reported.

“Our objective is to avoid several undesirable matters such as human trafficking and various issues relating to foreign workers,” the portal quoted Muhyiddin as saying. Malaysia Human Resources Minister M Kulasegaran, who had also attended the meeting, informed the media that the committee also agreed to implement by next year a multi-tier levy

system for the hiring of foreign workers.

According to Kulasegaran, the levy payment, under the upcoming mechanism, would be fixed based on the number of foreign workers hired by the employers.

“The more foreign workers hired, the higher the levy imposed on the employer,” Kulasegaran said. Minister Kulasegaran is scheduled to visit Nepal on October 28 for signing a bilateral labour agreement.The signing of the first ever labour pact between the two countries on October 29 will resume migration of Nepali workers to Malaysia, that has remained suspended since mid-May.



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