By Steven Sim, MP for Bukit Mertajam
The government recently announced that MyEg Services Bhd was given the contract to manage permit renewal of foreign workers; but NERS Sdn. Bhd. was already given 12-years contract to manage foreigner registration and work pass costing hundreds of million Ringgit annually.
Previously, I have raised in Parliament that since 1 June 2011, the government had appointed NERS Sdn. Bhd. to provide the National Enforcement and Registration System to record and monitor the immigration of foreigners to Malaysia. The company was given a 12-year concession. The company not only provides the biometric scanning system at all border entry points but also related security features, one of which is issued along with the visit pass (temporary employment) or pas lawatan (kerja sementara) – PL(KS).
For each PL(KS) issued to migrant workers, the government will pay NERS Sdn Bhd a sum of RM50.
The Home Ministry (Immigration Department) has to pay NERS RM100 million in 2015 Budget, RM75 million in 2014 Budget and RM105.3 million in 2013.
The system even received Prime Minister Innovation Award in 2011.
Why another middle-man, MyEG, to deal with migrant workers database?
However, beginning 5 January 2015, the federal government has appointed MyEG Services Bhd to be in charge of foreign workers permit renewal. In MyEG’s statement on the 12 January 2015 (http://www.thesundaily.my/news/1292397), the company has clarified that,
“MyEG’s role is not only to renew the permits but to compile, verify, maintain, update and analyse the database of legal foreign workers, illegal foreign workers, authorised employers of foreign workers, employers who unknowingly have foreign workers registered under their name and employers of illegal foreign workers.”
The question is, why should MyEG be appointed as a middle-man to do this, when NERS Sdn. Bhd. already has a 12-year contract to do the above? For each PL(KS) issued, the government has to pay RM50 to the company. Although not specifically mentioned, we suspect that this is already included in the “process fee” which was RM50 but has now increased to RM125 beginning 2015.
Hence with the new arrangement, upon renewal, not only employers have to pay the process fee of RM125 among other fees, there is an additional RM38 to be paid to MyEG being the middle-man.
I call upon the Cabinet to review this new arrangement. Either NERS Sdn. Bhd. or the Immigration Department is enough to deal with the database of migrant workers. No company should earn another hundreds of million Ringgit a year merely by being a redundant middle-man.