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Employers to bear full RM10k cost of migrant worker levies

The government has decided to retain the previous levy payment structure for migrant workers, with employers bearing the full cost.

Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said the decision was made following complaints from migrant workers and trade unions which, according to a report in a Chinese-language newspaper today, said they could not afford to pay their share of the levy.

Yesterday, Lim had said the government agreed to let employers pay only 20 percent of the annual RM10,000 levy for each migrant worker, while the migrant workers themselves would bear the remaining 80 percent.

“This annual levy of RM10,000 is applicable only for migrant workers who have worked in Malaysia for more than 10 years, and are allowed to extend their permit for a maximum of three years.

“However, they (the migrant workers) complained they could not pay their portion amounting to RM8,000, so the government has decided to revert to the original levy structure whereby the RM10,000 payment is borne fully by the employer,” he told a media conference here today.

Hence, Lim said, for employers with migrant workers who had served for more than 10 years and now wanted to continue working here, they could start paying the annual levy of RM10,000 from Oct 1.

“If the employers do not want to pay the RM10,000, they can first send the migrant workers home and then re-employ them as new workers. So the levy that needs to be paid is only RM1,850,” he added.

The Cabinet had on Aug 29 agreed to give leniency for employers to retain, for a maximum of three years, their skilled migrant workers holding the Temporary Employment Visit Pass (PKLS) for the past 10 years.

On a separate development relating to 1MDB, Lim said the assets monetisation from the state investment firm would go into a consolidated fund and then channelled to a related trust account.

“Any funds that are derived from the disposal of these assets will definitely need to go into this consolidated fund. But we need to verify that they belong to 1MDB,” he added.

Asked which assets the government was eyeing to dispose of, he said: “Although we know which (assets), I think it is appropriate for the attorney-general to answer as he is handling it.”

- Bernama