Call not to allow online hiring
Published on: Thursday, September 15, 2016
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Kota Kinabalu: Fifty three local agencies that have been handling recruitment of foreign workers for up to 20 years now fear losing business if the Government allows other companies to operate an online service in Sabah.The agencies claim that if they lose the business which most of them have been doing for 20 years, close to a thousand employees would lose their source of livelihood as well.

Their fear arose after getting word that the Foreign Workers Centralised Management System (FWCMS) and My Electronic Government (Myeg) might implement their services in Sabah.

The Sabah Foreign Workers Recruitment Agency Association (PAPPAS) has taken a position on this by insisting that the online service providers are not welcome.

"We won't allow Myeg or FWCMS to come to Sabah to do an online service. If they come we will be out of business," its President Anthony Leong told the association's annual meeting.

Members raised the issue, to which Leong insisted the Government must not allow any company to have monopoly in matters relating to application of new foreign workers and renewal of work pass in the State.

He claimed that the services provided by FWCMS and Myeg were not without problems.

"We object the FWCMS and Myeg because ever since the application of new foreign workers and work pass renewal system was implemented in the peninsula Malaysia, the response we have received from foreign worker recruitment companies and employers over there was that they faced problems," said Leong.

Among the complaints were late approval process, difficulty on the part of employers for they did not understand the application process and no internet facility in the rural areas.

He believes if the online services were to be implemented in the State it would also cause similar problems to employers as a large part of the rural areas are still without internet service.

"Sabah is a big area. Some areas have no internet yet while others have poor connection. So it's not fair to the employers who don't want to waste their time dealing with such problems," he said.

Leong insisted that PAPPAS members who have been assisting the Government in handling foreign workers in Sabah be allowed to continue their service which has proved effective the past two decades.

Registered since 2005, the association currently has 53 members who are legal recruitment agencies under the Private Employment Agencies Act 1981 (Act 246).

Leong argued that terminating PAPPAS members' service will not only create a negative impact on their livelihood but also affect the proper handling of foreign workers in the State.

"Irresponsible parties may try to cheat employers and employees because there will be no registration and government monitoring involved as in the past where an agency must first be registered with the NSC (National Security Council)," he added.

He disclosed that PAPPAS members take up 85 per cent of the foreign worker hiring service in the State while the remaining is done by employers themselves or other non-registered agents.

He said the association also has built a good working relationship with the relevant government departments and agencies over the years which has helped to ensure top quality service.

He said ever since its formation, PAPPAS has been acting at a body that evaluates and protects the interest of all stakeholders in the industry who are the employers, employees, foreign companies that supply the workers, the Government and respective Governments of the employees.

He said because PAPPAS already has a system that works well, the Government must see to it that they do not lose their bread and butter in favour of other companies that provide an online service.

"In this unpredictable economic situation, PAPPAS members' business and welfare have already been badly affected," he said.

He said the association does not only object the FWCMS and Myeg but also any other companies that may have an intention to monopolise the business.

"We've been in this business for 20 years," he said.


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