PH MPs to Zahid: Explain Foreign Workers’ ‘Special Approvals’

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Over half a million “special approvals” were issued between 2016 and 2018 for foreign workers’ admission into the country, and former home minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi must provide an explanation for the alarming figure.

Wong Hon Wai (PH-Bukit Bendera) urged Zahid, who is Bagan Datuk member of parliament, to explain himself on the matter.

This is regarding the recent Public Accounts Committee (PAC) report which found that out of the 928,825 approvals given for foreign workers’ entry, 512,315 or 55 percent of it were through “special approvals”.

“I ask Zahid, who was the home minister at the time, to state the reasons he gave the special approval power to mediators instead of going through the regular process.

“What is the justification for giving 55 percent special approvals and only 45 percent were normal approvals.

“I would also like to ask the Auditor (General’s office) to reveal the names of all mediators because the (10) names mentioned are only the tip of the iceberg,” he said in a press conference at Parliament.

To make matters worse, the PAC also revealed that a number of the special approvals were given via middlemen to foreign workers, despite many of them having failed the Foreign Workers Medical Examination Monitoring Agency (Fomema) inspection.

According to the PAC, five out of the 10 middlemen identified were politicians.

They were former Dewan Rakyat speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia, Tan Sri Noh Omar (BN-Tanjung Karang), Datuk Masir Kujat (GPS-Sri Aman), Kok Lanas assemblyman Datuk Seri Mohd Alwi Che Ahmad and Sungai Dua assemblyman Muhammad Yusof Mohd Nor.

“Since the names of these five people’s representatives are mentioned in the PAC report, which is a public document published by the Parliament itself, I would like to ask all five of them to provide explanations on their involvement in the special approvals for foreign workers,” Wong added.

Khoo Poay Tiong (PH-Kota Melaka), who was also present at the press conference, challenged Noh Omar to give an immediate explanation on his involvement in the matter.

“In an interview with Astro Awani yesterday, Noh Omar said he disagrees with political appointments.

“He sounded so ‘suci’ (pure) when he said this, but now, we see his name as one of the middlemen. Walk the talk and explain,” he said.