PUTRAJAYA: The Cabinet today has agreed to delay the implementation of levy payment of foreign workers by employers under the Employer Mandatory Commitment (EMC) until next year.
Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said this to reporters after attending today's Cabinet meeting.
"The matter was tabled by (Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk) Paul Low (Seng Kuan). It has been agreed to build a (conducive) eco-system to support the implementation of EMC.
"The Cabinet has been told that the employers will support the EMC if they do not have to deal with the middlemen," he said.
Aside from the eco-system, there was a need to have reliable source to employ foreign workers, Liow added.
"We have to create an environment so that employers can recruit workers with ease. There is also problem to even get local workers," he said.
Last year, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi had announced that employers would no longer be able to deduct the wages of their foreign workers for the levy, effective Jan 1.
The move was to ensure that employers are fully responsible for their foreign workers.
On the issue of getting more bus drivers to fill up about 3,000 vacancies for drivers in Malaysia's transport industry, Liow said his ministry would look into training schemes for bus drivers similar to what it had for lorry drivers.
"Under the logistics taskforce, we have actually come out with a scheme to train haulier lorry drivers.
"Since there is a need now for bus drivers, we will look into similar training scheme."
Liow also issued stern warning against hiring foreigners to operate heavy vehicles illegally.
"This is a very serious issue. We will slap them with fine and seal the vehicle. We can take stern actions. If anyone has any information on this matter, report to us so that the Road Transport Department can take action immediately."