Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Migrant workers contributed RM1.9 bil

Migrant workers contributed RM1.9 bil
Yoges Palaniappan
Nov 1, 07 6:13pm

The government has collected RM1.9 billion in levy and other fees from immigrant workers last year, Parliament was told today.

Home Ministry parliamentary secretary Abdul Rahman Ibrahim said that the amount was collected in forms of levy, temporary working pass, and visa.

Abdul Rahman (BN-Pokok Sena) was replying a query from Mohd Zaid Ibrahim (BN-Kota Baru) who asked the Home Ministry to state the amount of levy and other fees collected from immigrant workers yearly.

Abdul Rahman said that in 2005, the government collected RM1.7 billion, whereas, as of August this year, the amount collected is RM1.5 billion.

Menial jobs

He explained that it does not come as a surprise that Malaysia, as a more developed nation among the poor and underdeveloped neighbouring countries, attracts foreign workers.

"Malaysians are not interested to do dirty, dangerous and difficult jobs. Also, they have many choices of the jobs they want to do. So we need foreign workers to work in our farms and plantations," Abdul Rahman explained.

However, he denied that the government has allowed many foreign workers in the country to collect more money from levy and other fees.

He said that the government's initiatives to promote Malaysia as an education and tourism hub was also a reason for the influx of foreigners into the country.

"We only have two million registered foreign workers. Many more are interested to work here but they are not allowed entry to this country," he said.

On the other hand, he added, students who come into the country with student visas and tourists who are granted visa on arrival are working here.

Regular inspections

In a separate development, the domestic trade and consumer affairs minister said it has taken several steps to control the price increase of essential food products.

In a written reply, Shafie Apdal said that his ministry has increased inspections on wholesalers, distributors and grocerers in the country.

"The inspections are done regularly so that businessmen would not increase the price of essential products," he said.

Shafie added that his ministry has also controlled the price of several essential items during the festive seasons.

Shafie was responding to Karpal Singh (DAP-Bukit Gelugor) who asked the minister to state the steps taken to halt the increase in prices of essential food commodities.

No comments: