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By Karen Bong and Ashley Sim
KUCHING, Aug 10: The Sarawak government is working on a mobile application with common data service to eliminate bureaucracy while easing and expediting the process to apply for work permits for foreign workers in the construction, manufacturing and plantation sectors in particular.
Premier of Sarawak Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg noted that Sarawak is facing a labour shortage, particularly foreign workers where the problem is compounded by the complex and time-consuming work permit process.
“What happens now is it takes quite a bit of time to issue a work permit because of the bureaucracy involved as the process has to go through the Immigration Department, Labour Department and then the State Secretary Office.
“So what is being done now is to have a common platform and common data through an app where applications for work permit can be processed,” he said when officiating Sarawak Housing and Real Estate Developers’ Association (Sheda) Annual Dinner and Excellence Awards 2022 at Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) here tonight.
Abang Johari said a committee has been set up which is led by Deputy Minister of Labour, Immigration and Project Monitoring Datuk Gerawat Gala to look into the procedure as well as the process of issuing work permits.
“As such, we will bring you (Sheda) into the committee to facilitate in the process of issuing work permits comprising the construction, manufacturing and plantation. With this new approach, we hope the period to issue work permits will be expedited,” he said.
Apart from that, he also mentioned that the Cabinet has consented to the issuing of five-year work permits for professional expatriates who come to Sarawak especially to those working in strategic economic sectors, such as energy and the digital industry.
“So in the event a company in the construction industry requires a professional expatriate, they can benefit from this,” he added.
Deputy Premier Dato Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian, Deputy Minister of Local Government Michael Tiang, Sheda president Augustine Wong and organising chairman of the Sheda Excellence Awards Dato Ir Sr Alex Ting were among those present. — DayakDaily