Govt mulling savings scheme for foreign workers, says Saravanan

KAJANG: The government is studying the possibility of introducing a savings scheme for foreign workers, says Datuk Seri M. Saravanan.

The Human Resources Minister said the proposed scheme will only allow migrant workers to withdraw their savings in their country of origin after 10 years.

However, he said according to the International Labour Organisation’s standards, the contributions cannot be forced.

He also noted that the government cannot increase the burden of employers by rolling out the scheme at this juncture as the minimum wage has just been raised.

“Maybe it is too early for another form of contribution as the country is overcoming sluggish economic conditions,” he said at a press conference after the National Professors Council’s (MPN) Minda Profesor programme.

Saravanan said some foreign workers who came to work in Malaysia decided to overstay as they had drained their savings.

“Within 10 years, they have to go back whether they like it or not. Perhaps we will propose that the funds will not be available if it is not claimed within a year,” he said.

Earlier during the Minda Profesor panel discussion, Saravanan said expatriates and foreign workers entering the country will need the approval of the Director-General of the Labour Department effective Sept 1.

He said government agencies too will need the approval of the Labour Dept DG to bring in professional and non-professional workers into Malaysia.