Govt under fire for flip-flop over placement of one-stop centre

KUALA LUMPUR: The Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM) has criticised the government for "backpedaling" on policies on the placement of the one-stop centre for foreign worker recruitment.

Its president, Tan Sri Soh Thian Lai, said the industry was disappointed with the decision to place the one-stop centre back under the Home Ministry while keeping the one-channel system (OCS) for domestic worker recruitment under the Human Resources Ministry.

Human Resources Minister V. Sivakumar announced the decision yesterday.

"There is great concern that this flip-flop in the policy will set back business and economic recovery as there would be a recalibration of the policy and system by the home ministry after taking over the foreign worker management," Soh said in a statement today.

The statement was posted on the FMM's Facebook.

Previous human resources minister, Datuk Seri M. Saravanan, had in June shared that the one-stop centre had been transferred from the home affairs ministry to the human resources ministry as is practiced in many countries.

The flip-flop in policies, said Soh, seemed to be in direct opposition to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's call for greater efficiency in public service.

"We see this reversal in the management policy now complicating the entire process, making it more challenging as employers have to obtain approvals from two or more ministries or agencies for a single application, leading to further delays."

In spite of the government moving the OSC for the recruitment of foreign workers back to the home ministry, he said the fact is the human resources ministry still handles many aspects relating to foreign worker recruitment as well as employment.

"FMM stands firm that a single agency handling the entire foreign worker employment process from end-to-end (recruitment to repatriation) via a single online system is key to ensuring clarity/transparency and greater efficiency of the system and improving investor confidence," he added.

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