PAC Finds Loopholes in Foreign-Worker System

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Government processes for the recruitment of migrant workers under the Home Ministry and Human Resources Ministry have been severely compromised, including theft of user identifications to create false quotas in the system, the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) found.

PAC chairman Wong Kah Woh said 20 police reports have been lodged since 2017 but are pending investigation.

The bipartisan committee also revealed that approval for “special applications” is higher than regular applications.

PAC calls this “an unhealthy practice”.

The practice also does not meet the purpose of the foreign worker application process, which is to provide strict qualification screening, he said.

PAC presented its report on Activities for the Control of Foreign Workers under the Home Ministry via the Immigration Department, and the Human Resources Ministry.

It reveals various irregularities previously highlighted in the Auditor-General’s 2018 Series 1 report.

“Errors found within MyIMMs showed significant weakness in the security system of a ministry responsible for national security,” Wong said in a press statement today.

“PAC also found incomplete integration between the integrated foreign workers’ management system (ePPAX) and MyIMMs, which resulted in the data and application documents of foreign workers’ quotas not being fully shared.

“There was the use of a ‘mediator’ that circumvented the processes in the existing system,” Wong added.

The committee also found that some of the special approvals granted involved foreign labour quotas in frozen job sub-sectors, which, in turn, affected employment opportunities for Malaysians.

“There is also a weakness in the system that causes temporary employment visit passes to be issued to those who failed the foreign workers’ medical monitoring agency’s examination.”

There are also no records on the repatriation of some foreign workers who failed the exam.

“This can result in a risk of transmission of infectious diseases to the local population.”

Wong said the ministries should create an integrated system to manage and control the hiring of foreign workers where data can be shared.

PAC also suggested an investigation into the existence of so-called “mediators”.

It also suggested renegotiating with the United Nations High Commission for Refugees to settle the registration of refugees at immigration depots in the country. – TMI