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KUCHING, April 3: Bintulu MP Dato Sri Tiong King Sing urges employers to legalise foreign workers in their companies and renew their permits to protect the companies’ and their employees’ rights and interests.
According to a statement by Tiong, Deputy Premier of Sarawak and Sarawak State Disaster Management Committee (JPBN) chairman Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas informed him yesterday that the Sarawak government has opened applications to legalise foreign workers whose permits are overdue or blacklisted.
“At the same time, I urge the Sarawak government to speed up the application (process) and renewal of foreign workers’ permits.
“It is hoped that the Sarawak government, including relevant agencies and departments such as the Sarawak Immigration Department and the Sarawak Manpower Department, as well as other relevant parties, will collaborate to find the best methods for managing foreign labour in order to achieve a win-win situation for employees, employers, and countries involved,” Tiong said.
He went on to say that employers are encouraged to apply for permits for foreign workers who stay on voluntarily for extended periods of time so that the legalisation process can proceed smoothly.
“I propose that the government establish a three-month application period to give employers enough time to address the labour shortage, particularly in industries that rely on foreign workers, such as agriculture, construction, and others,” he added.
Tiong stated that if employers are unable to resolve this issue within the time frame set by the government and allow their employees to work illegally to earn a living, they will be subject to severe punishment by the authorities if they are arrested.
“While there is a need for tolerance in this regard, the large group of labour force here must be dealt with properly so that both foreign labour groups and citizens can coexist peacefully,” he asserted.
Meanwhile, Tiong also said that many workers in Sarawak are experiencing issues as a result of Covid-19, such as having to stay longer than necessary and having difficulty renewing their permits.
“The reopening of Malaysia’s borders on April 1 has altered the recovering market sentiment, including the existence of high labour demand in agriculture and other industries,” he added.
He urged employers to seize this opportunity to legalise foreign workers in their respective companies. — DayakDaily