Real dan­ger of busi­ness go­ing bust


SME As­so­ci­a­tion of Malaysia pres­i­dent Michael Kang said 80% of the 650,000 small and medium-sized en­ter­prises (SMEs) in the coun­try will go bust if the Im­mi­gra­tion Depart­ment goes ahead to seize and freeze as­sets of em­ploy­ers found har­bour­ing il­le­gal im­mi­grants from next month.

De­scrib­ing the planned ac­tion as im­proper, he said eight out of 10 SMEs have il­le­gal work­ers and these op­er­a­tors will have to close shop if their as­sets are frozen, Nanyang Siang Pau reported yes­ter­day.

Malaysia needs ad­e­quate sup­ply of labour to en­sure its eco­nomic growth is not hin­dered, he said, adding that the Im­mi­gra­tion move to en­force this tough mea­sure will se­ri­ously af­fect the coun­try’s econ­omy.

He ex­plained that many SME op­er­a­tors are us­ing il­le­gal labour be­cause of the high costs as well as red tape in­volved in the il­le­gal for­eign work­ers re­hir­ing pro­gramme. Fur­ther­more, there is no guar­an­tee of suc­cess in try­ing to ob­tain work per­mits for their il­le­gal work­ers un­der the pro­gramme, he said.

He lamented that those who seek for­eign work­ers through em­ploy­ment agen­cies have to pay ex­or­bi­tant fees, even­though there is also no guar­an­tee that all work­ers sup­plied are le­gal.

Kang said the govern­ment should come up with a rea­son­able for­eign worker man­age­ment sys­tem as part of the ef­forts to solve the is­sue of il­le­gal for­eign work­ers once and for all.

“As we don’t have a proper sys­tem to man­age for­eign work­ers, the pol­icy changes ev­ery time there is a change in the min­is­ter-in-charge, caus­ing con­fu­sion and pro­long­ing the prob­lem of il­le­gal work­ers,” he said.

He said a proper sys­tem should, for ex­am­ple, al­low those who need for­eign labour to sub­mit ap­pli­ca­tions on­line with­out go­ing through the mid­dle­man.

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