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Employers Shocked Over New Policy

FMM In The News: The Star, January 1, 2017

PETALING JAYA: Bosses reacted with shock over the new policy put in place to safeguard the interest of foreign workers.

SME Association of Malaysia president Datuk Michael Kang said the new rules would “kill off” the manufacturing industry in the country.

He said SMEs were already facing a labour shortage problem over the past year with their businesses experiencing a slump.

“With this, they are increasing the cost of labour and cost of manufacturing. This is not helping the manufacturing industry.

“Our members say there is no cost advantage to manufacture locally. Now we have increased costs to bring in foreign workers,” he added.

Kang said if nothing was done, SMEs would be worse off in 2017.

Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM) president Tan Sri Dr Lim Wee Chai also expressed shock over the move to introduce the Employer Mandatory Commitment (EMC), saying it had not been consulted.

“There was no heads up at all. FMM has always maintained that when there are changes to any policy which would result in an immediate cost impact to employers, it must be done with consultation, pre-announced and gradually implemented with a grace period before it comes into force. As it stands, there are unresolved issues on foreign workers with companies still facing delays in getting approvals to hire them,’’ he said.

Malay Businessmen and Industrialists Association of Malaysia (Perdasama) president Datuk Moehamad Izat Emir urged the Government to explain the rationale behind the move.

“We did not expect this. Please give us an explanation. Businesses have been just getting used to the GST and now this,’’ he added.

Malayan Agricultural Producers Asso­ciation (Mapa) executive director Mohamad Audong said the changes in the levy payment under the EMC would not be a problem for the plantation sector.

He said Mapa member companies had been paying the levy for years although they had the option to deduct the foreign workers’ wages.

“We really need foreign workers ... it is ourresponsibility to look after them,’’ he added.

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