PUTRAJAYA, Jan 27 — A total of 2,000 applications from employers involving 156,621 foreign workers have been received through the Foreign Worker Employment Relaxation Plan (FWERP) since its implementation on Jan 17, says Home Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail.

Of the total number of applications recorded as of yesterday (Jan 26), he said 19.58 per cent had been approved while another 125,156 were being processed.

He said that based on the data from the first four days of the plan’s implementation, there were 765 applications recorded from employers involving 56,622 foreign workers of which 30,465 were approved.

“The Immigration Department has collected levy payments totalling RM6,147,360 from 93 employers involving 3,999 foreign workers in various sectors since the implementation of the plan, as of yesterday,” he said when delivering his new year’s address to ministry staff here today.

Saifuddin said the ministry required three days to assess the authenticity of applications submitted by employers under the plan before approval was granted.

Among the matters examined, he said, were if they qualified under the critical sectors that contributed to the country’s economic development, namely construction, specialised services for the restaurant sub-sector, manufacturing, plantation and agriculture.

“Also emphasised is the legitimacy of the employer, namely whether such a company applying for foreign workers actually exists, including the evaluation of the status of the company, to prevent attempts by irresponsible outsourcing agencies to take advantage of the relaxation given by the government,” he said.

Saifuddin said discussions had been held with ambassadors and high commissioners of countries such as Indonesia, Bangladesh and Nepal to get their commitment to ensuring the smooth entry of foreign workers whose employment had been approved.

The re-implementation of the Labour Recalibration programme and the establishment of the FWERP were among the matters agreed upon in the special foreign worker management meeting chaired by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim that took place here on Tuesday (Jan 10).

Through FWERP, employers will be allowed to hire foreign workers from 15 source countries without needing to go through pre-requisite hiring and quota qualifications.


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