Monday January 7, 2013
Industries welcome ‘let workers pay levy’ suggestion
By IVAN LOH
IPOH: Various industries have welcomed a suggestion that foreign workers' wages should include their levy, transportation and allowances for accommodation.
It would be less taxing on their respective companies or employers, said Federation of Malaysian Manu-facturers Perak branch chairman Datuk Gan Tack Kong, referring to a suggestion by MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek.
“The implementation of the minimum wage policy is already stressful to most companies. There are even companies offering foreign workers wages of more than RM1,000.”
“There are also workers who can claim overtime and their wages can be doubled,” he said.
He said several multinational companies had told him that they were doing the best they could for their workers.
Real Estate and Housing Deve-lopers Association Malaysia Perak branch chairman Datuk Francis Lee Yew Hean said he concurred with Dr Chua's suggestion.
”Whether it's accommodation or transportation, all costs are incurred by the employers and we should recognise this,” he said.
However, he stressed that companies which were capable of providing accommodation, meals and transportation together with the wages should do so.
Federation of Malaysian Vegetable Growers secretary-general Chay Ee Mong said the suggestion was acceptable as most foreign employees were given other benefits like insurance. He also pointed out that most foreign workers in farms were earning more than locals as accommodation was provided for them.
“They stay in a group and can save by cooking and sharing their meals and there's no need to fork out extra transportation costs,” he said.
Batu Pahat Chinese Chamber of Commerce president Gan Eng Huat said it would be great if the Govern-ment agreed to the suggestion.
Gan said the furniture industry was among those most affected by the policy.
Citing an example, he said a furniture manufacturer here had about 1,000 foreign workers and with the new policy, had to pay each of them an extra RM300 to RM450.