Employers Forced To Use Online Service - Labour Law Blog

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Jan 6, 2015

Employers Forced To Use Online Service

KUALA LUMPUR: Employers are up in arms over the Immigration Department's implementation of the new online system for Foreign Workers Permit (PLKS) through MyEG, for which they have to pay RM38 per application.

Many who went to immigration offices today found that counters handling PLKS were closed with a notice telling them to apply online instead.

Apparently, the immigration department had issued a statement on Friday to announce the closure of the counters and the introduction of the new system.

In the statement, Immigration director-general Datuk Mustafa Ibrahim said the online system is aimed at reducing congestion at immigration counters which deal with foreign workers and to prevent employers from using middlemen.

However, many interviewed by theSun said they were not even aware of the switch until they saw the notices at the department's offices.

"Imagine the shock we had when we came today and saw the counters for foreign workers closed and being informed that we have to do the new and renewal applications online," said a restaurant owner, who wished to be identified only as Ibrahim.

He said while the online application may ease the congestion at the department, making employers pay RM38 per application is ridiculous.

"When we applied for PLKS at the counters, we know that the status of our application on the spot. With the online application, not only do I have to pay RM38 per person I also don't know if it has been approved," he said.

"The set back for manual processing was having to queue up for several hours, but it was free of charge," he added.

Meanwhile, a local businessman, Rafiq, when met at the Damansara Immigration Department said he was sceptical about the online system as not much information has been disseminated regarding its effectiveness.

"I am concerned as many of us depend on foreign labour. The department should have briefed employers on the new system instead of just announcing it and implementing it on short notice," he said, adding that the online registration and renewal could also be a challenge to those who are not internet-savvy.

Under the new system, both new PLKS application and renewals have to be done by employers online. An immigration spokesman said the department has ceased to handle PLKS applications manually.

He declined to comment on complaints raised by the employers.

Meanwhile, Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF) executive director Datuk Shamsuddin Bardan said the online application system is a burden to employers both financially and logistically.

"Doing online application means it is done by employers directly whereas when done manually, they can seek the assistance of various immigration agencies" he said.

He said that the system is inconvenient and suggested the government provide a proper guideline and time frame for both sides to adjust accordingly.

He said the immigration authorities should make the procedure easier for employers rather than making it difficult as it also has an impact on the country's foreign direct investments (FDIs).

However, Imran Hilmy reports that in Butterworth, some employers are responding positively to online service for PLKS renewal.

Factory owner Lee Lim Seng, 50, lauded the move as renewing the permits for his workers online means he does not have to join long queues at immigration offices anymore.

Businesswoman Asliza Abd Jalil, 51, was however worried that the move had come too soon and might pose some difficulties especially to those not proficient with computer use.

Checks by theSun on the website https://www.myeg.com.my, which is available in English and Malay, showed that employers need to have their own "1MID" (1 Malaysia Identification) and password to log in and register with My E.G. Services Bhd's website.

Other features include:
  •  a foreign workers permit fact and answer (FAQ) section
  •  a four-step guideline to register the workers
MyEG sales manager Shawn Ng told theSun the response so far from the public was good and many were getting information on how to use the online application.

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