KUALA LUMPUR: The Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM) lauded the extension of the Recalibration Programme under the Illegal Immigrant Recalibration Plan 2.0 (IIRP) specifically for the Manpower Recalibration Programme (MRP) until December this year.
Although it was a good move, FMM president Tan Sri Soh Thian Lai proposed the rollout of the IIRP to come under a single administration.
"Preferably the Immigration Department as this will eliminate any undue confusion in the process and any middlemen trying to capitalise from these schemes by offering workers at a fee.
"The IIRP should cater for those illegal workers wanting to return to their home country without being blacklisted as well as those seeking to be legalised and rehired.
"Workers whose employers were unable to get their worker permits renewed or send them back during the Covid-19 pandemic Movement Control Order period which has since rendered them illegal should be considered under this scheme," he said.
FMM recommended that the same easing of conditions on hiring rules for foreign workers should apply for the legalisation and rehiring of the illegal workers.
It also suggested that the entire process should be conducted online including introducing flexibility on payment modes which would allow for larger number of workers to be processed via a single submission as there were currently payment limits imposed for each debit and credit card payment.
"Consider reviewing the compound charges by bringing it down from RM1,500 to RM900 similar to the rate of the previous Rehiring Programme in 2016.
"The procedures and conditions must also be made clear to the embassies which will facilitate the renewal or issuance of new passports for their nationals that are seeking to be legalised and rehired."
Soh said the industry was looking forward to the details of the Plan and IIRP 2.0 which they hoped would be released soon and preferably engagement sessions with stakeholders for clear understanding and interpretation of the new procedures.
He also said it recognised that the plan, known as Relaxation of Foreign Workers Recruitment Plan, was a temporary measure to meet the country's economic development needs.
"We welcome the urgent attention given by the government on the labour needs raised by industries.
"Thanks to the government for recognising the importance and complementary role that foreign workers play in supporting economic recovery especially during this period of prolonged uncertainty with 2023 forecasted to be a tough year as global growth is expected to slow down, global inflation to remain elevated and trade volume to contract," he said.