PUTRAJAYA: Employers no longer need agents to apply for foreign workers’ permits as it is now compulsory for bosses to submit their requests online, says Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
The Deputy Prime Minister said the move that took effect on April 1 was to shorten waiting time and to resolve a host of other problems posed by the agents.
Dr Ahmad Zahid said the Immigration Department would only process applications sent online.
Walk-in submissions would no longer be entertained, he added.
“This will make recording of data easier and to resolve previous allegations by employers that they were cheated or overcharged by agents,” he said after attending the Home Ministry’s monthly gathering.
Dr Ahmad Zahid, who is also Home Minister, said the new regulation would also resolve cases of agents cheating foreign workers, who are left in the lurch after having to pay huge sums of money to enter the country.
“This is a despicable act that cannot be tolerated,” said Dr Ahmad Zahid.
“It is wrong to take advantage of those who are already in a spot, having to leave their families behind to earn a living in a foreign land.
“With this policy in place, we hope there will be no more of such cases.”
The online registration is for employers who wish to hire foreigners in all sectors, except domestic helpers.
Previously, Dr Ahmad Zahid said online applications could be approved within 48 hours if all conditions and criteria were met.
A “single window synchronisation” system has been developed to resolve overlapping and to allow both the Home and Human Resources ministries to connect.
At the event, Dr Ahmad Zahid launched the new Arms Card that allowed the police to keep track on firearms possession and any abuse of the privilege.
The new card – to replace the old system where annual renewal would be written manually in a book issued to firearm owners – has security features such as a hologram, QR code, signature of the Inspector-General of Police and the photograph and details of the card holder.
It is to be issued beginning June 1 and is compulsory for all firearms holders. Applications can be made at district police headquarters nationwide and must be renewed every year.