The one-stop centre for foreign workers’ approval has been transferred from the home ministry to the human resources ministry, according to human resources minister M Saravanan.
He said this practice was common in many countries, adding that the labour department (JTK) has since approved approximately 230,000 foreign workers.
“I would like to congratulate everyone in the human resources ministry for their tireless efforts in helping our businesses and industry players overcome their labour shortage predicament,” Saravanan said in a statement.
“The (labour) department further reaffirms its commitment to continue providing all necessary assistance to our business community.”
He added that it is now up to the employers who have obtained their approvals to make the necessary levy payments to get the visas for the foreign workers.
In February, the Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF) suggested the human resources ministry be the sole agency in charge of the recruitment and management of foreign workers for greater efficiency.
The group’s president Syed Hussain Syed Husman said that the ministry could get all the requirements approved instead of cross-ministry involvement, which he said wasted too much time on bureaucracy and added costs.
In today’s statement, Saravanan also denied allegations that Bangladeshi prime minister Sheikh Hasina Wazed was involved in the selection of the 25 worker recruitment agencies, calling such claims “totally false and unfounded”.
“My statement on the meeting with Her Excellency, and the explanation on the current affairs of the Bangladesh foreign workers in our country were taken out of context.
“My meeting with Her Excellency was to explain the current situation of foreign workers (in Malaysia), and (to explain) the initiatives taken by my ministry to improve working conditions,” he added.