PUTRAJAYA: Thirty-six employers will receive their foreign maids by this week through the newly-introduced Maid Online System (SMO).

Immigration Department director-general Datuk Mustafar Ali said this first batch was able to apply and receive their maids in just six days.

"Initially, we promised that it would take about eight days, but this first batch was successful in getting it done in just six days, minus the three non-working days from Jan 1.

"This is provided that their Foreign Workers Medical Examination Monitoring Agency (Fomema) application is approved today.

"It is definitely an achievement for the department," he said at the department's monthly gathering today.

He said the Fomema screening approval could take about three to five working days, while the department's processing would take a maximum of five days.

The Immigration Department implemented the SMO, beginning Jan 1, to ease the financial burden of employers seeking domestic helpers.

Fees borne by employers to hire a maid will be as low as RM 1,635, including Fomema screening charges.

"This is cheaper compared to what employers used to pay to hire maids. The fees previously ranged between RM12,000 to RM18,000," he said.

The 36 employers, who are currently waiting for Fomema approval, will receive the Temporary Employment Visit Pass (PLKS) and i-Kad (identity card by sectors of employment for foreign workers) for maids, if the Fomema approval goes through, Mustafar said.

He said that as of today, 111,000 have visited the SMO website and 3,141 employers have been granted access by the department.

"From the 3,141 employers, 76 have submitted completed documents. Out of the 76, a total of 36 are currently waiting for the Fomema results," he added.

Malaysia currently houses a total of 127,991 foreign maids.

Mustafar said with the system in place, the process of registering and receiving maids will be much easier and faster.

Meanwhile at the gathering today, he said the department will carry ot 100 per cent second screenings for foreign visitors, especially those from source and high-risk countries.

"There will not be any compromise on risky passengers who comprise students, tourists, expatriates and more. Stricter filtration will be done to determine the authenticity of their travel documents and the purpose of their travel.

"As of last year, we have served more than 50,000 visitors with the Not to Land notice (NTL)," he added.

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Thirty-six employers will receive their foreign maids by this week through the newly-introduced Maid Online System (SMO). NSTP file pic/MOHD FADLI HAMZAH