Malaysia defers proposed hike in foreign workers levy
The proposed implementation of the new levy rates for foreign workers in Malaysia has been temporarily deferred – a move welcomed by the Philippine Embassy in Kuala Lumpur.
"The deferral provides a welcome breather for employers and employees at this time of economic difficulties, and allows an opportunity to conduct a thorough review of the levy system," said Philippine Ambassador J. Eduardo Malaya in a statement Friday.
Malaysia earlier imposed a two-level restructuring of the foreign workers levy system as well as corresponding increases. It was supposed to take effect starting February 1.
The proposed move has been met by much opposition from employers' groups and key sectors, saying that this would greatly impact recruitment of needed workers as well as their profits, the embassy said.
Under the new system, employees will have to pay RM2,500 (around US$625) if he or she will work in the manufacturing, construction and services sectors, while RM1,500 (around US$375) if he or she will work in the plantation and agriculture sectors.
The levy for household service workers remains the same at RM410 (around US$102.5).
The levy is paid annually.
Malaysia has some 2.1 million registered foreign workers. The embassy said there are some 10, 000 Filipino workers in the affected sectors, and that most of the affected foreign workers come from Indonesia, Myanmar, Cambodia, Nepal and Bangladesh.
Based on data from the Embassy’s Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO), there has been a decrease in the number of jobs contracts that are submitted to their office for verification in light of recent developments. —KBK, GMA News