Sunday, February 18, 2007

Employers to make sure foreign workers don't go astray (Star)

Employers to make sure foreign workers don't go astray

KUALA LUMPUR: Home Minister Datuk Seri Radzi Sheikh Ahmad said on Sunday that a Foreign Workers Bill was being planned under which employers will be responsible for monitoring their foreign workers' movements to ensure that "they do not go astray".

He said the bill would also ensure that employers who bring in foreign workers were responsible for their accommodation and wages.

There should also be "a procedure to follow if they (foreign workers) go out anywhere," he added.

"We are not trying to confine the foreign workers, but we want the employers to provide proper accommodation be it at the workplace or anywhere, adzi said.

He said at the moment, there were rules and regulations, but these were not strictly enforced and the Bill would ensure that they were.

"In the future, it is going to be the responsibility of the employer. If you bring in a foreign worker, you are responsible for their accommodation, wages, and so forth. All this will be mapped out in the Bill," he said.

He added that they were not trying to restrict the foreign workers' freedom but were merely monitoring their movement.

Radzi said he had met with the Attoney-General's Chambers a few days ago and discussions on the Bill were almost at the final stage.

"We hope to table it during the next Cabinet committee meeting on foreign workers chaired by Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak (Deputy Prime Minister) to be held next month.

"Once approved by the committee and Cabinet, we will table it in Parliament, hopefully during the March sitting," he told reporters when met at the MCA Chinese New Year open house at Wisma MCA here on Sunday.

Commenting on Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan's statement on Saturday, Radzi said the Bill was in line with what was voiced by Musa.

Musa had said that employers should monitor the movement of their workers to help reduce crime the rate, including building longhouses for them and creating a logbook to record their after-hour activities.

Radzi said he would be travelling to Dubai next month to study how they tackle the issue of foreign workers.

"In Dubai, their local population is 900,000, but their total population is 3.4 million, which is about two foreigners per local," he added.

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