Long wait for rehired hands’ permits

Last Updated on July 10, 2018, 3 p.m.

GEORGE TOWN: Some 40% of members of the Penang Master Builders & Building Materials Dealers Association claim they have not received working permits for their foreign workers although the deadline for the rehiring programme has ended on June 30.

Association president Datuk Lim Chee Tong said some of them had waited for two years but to no avail.

He said the state government should set up a task force comprising the relevant authorities for a dialogue session to be held with the representatives of the construction industry.

“We are not requesting for deadline extension. In fact, we are fully supportive of the move.

“We want them to know that some of the members have waited for two years, and yet, they have not received the permits.

“We hope the relevant authorities would understand the plight of those involved in the construction sectors before taking action and conducting raids on illegal foreign workers.

“Without the permits, we can’t get the Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) green card for the workers.

“This means the contractors could also face compound from CIDB for failing to obtain the green cards for the workers,” he said, adding that the association has 150 members.

The rehiring programme was introduced in 2016 to allow illegal workers in Malaysia to obtain valid work documents.

Lim said there were bound to be social problems in view of the crackdown launched by the Immigration Department.

“To avoid arrest, they (the foreign workers) could go into hiding and turn to crime.

“There would also be delays on projects, causing the contractors to be fined for late delivery,” he said.

Lim said the association was also appealing to the federal authorities to allow contractors to renew the work permits of skilled foreign workers with 10 years of experience.

Home Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin had announced that the rehiring programme for illegal foreign workers would not be continued after June 30 and there would be a large-scale crackdown by the authorities.


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