400 employers, representatives attend townhall session on foreign workers

Amir (centre) at the townhall session organised by the Foreign Workers Independent Management Committee at Imperial Hotel Kuching.

By Wilfred Pilo

KUCHING, Oct 16: More than 400 people, mostly employers or their representatives from the labour-intensive sector, attended a townhall session organised by the Foreign Workers Independent Management Committee at Imperial Hotel Kuching today.

This is the first time the event has been carried out here. Before coming here, the committee members had gone to Kuala Terengganu, Kuantan and Melaka.

The Ministry of Human Resources’ secretary-general Datuk Amir Omar said the purpose of the gathering was to share information on how to manage foreign workers in the country effectively.

“The feedback, the proposals and views given by the participants will be brought to the attention of the government for deliberations,” he said when officiating at the townhall session.

Amir told those present that in Sarawak, the screening of non-residential workers would be carried out by an approved working committee chaired by the State Secretary.

“The working committee is known as ‘Mesyuarat Jawatankuasa Lokalisasi Bagi Pekerja Bukan Permastautin Yang Lain (MJLPBP)’ and the secretariat will be the Sarawak Labour Department,” he said, adding that the employment of foreign workers in Sarawak was based on the policy of the state government, as it had immigration autonomy.

A section of the participants at the townhall session in Kuching.

Amir said all applications and approvals for non-permanent workers in Sarawak was administered online using the Monitoring System on the Employment of Non-Sarawakian (MSEN) and administered by the state Labour Department.

Citing temporary-employment pass statistics from the Immigration Department, Amir said the number of foreign workers dropped from 2.06 million in 2008 to 1.76 million as at Aug 31 this year, while the percentage of documented foreign workers in the country dropped from 19.7 per cent in 2008 to 11.9 per cent in June this year.

Also present at the session were Batu Kitang assemblyman Lo Khere Chiang, Pending assemblywoman Violet Yong Wui Wui, state Labour Department director Awang Raduan Awang Omar and Foreign Workers Independent Management Committee chairman Datuk Salleh Sulaiman. — DayakDaily