Why hire MyEG to renew foreign workers’ permits, asks DAP



-A +A

KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 20): A DAP lawmaker today questioned why MyEG Services Bhd was given the contract to manage the renewing of foreign workers’ permits when another firm was already doing the job.

Bukit Mertajam MP Steven Sim Chee Keong said the National Foreigners Enforcement and Registration System (NERS) had already been given a 12-year contract to manage the registration of foreigners and work passes costing millions of ringgit a year.

He urged the Cabinet to review the arrangement, which allowed MyEG to make millions a year as a "redundant middle man".

Sim said NERS already was appointed since June 1, 2011, to do the job, adding that it provided the biometric scanning system at all border entry points and related security features.

He added that each migrant worker was issued a temporary employment visit pass or "pas lawatan kerja sementara" (PLKS).

For each PLKS issued to migrant workers, the government paid NERS RM50 , he said.

"The Home Ministry's Immigration Department will pay NERS RM100 million under the 2015 Budget for the job.

"Previously, it paid RM75 million under the 2014 Budget and RM105.3 million under the 2013 Budget.

"The system even received Prime Minister Innovation Award in 2011. Why appoint another middle-man, MyEG to deal with migrant workers database?" he said in a statement today.

Putrajaya appointed MyEG beginning January 5 this year to be in charge of renewing foreign workers' permits.

The company said in a January 12 statement that its role went beyond renewing permits. Among others, it authorised employers of foreign workers and to update and analyse the database of legal foreign workers.

Sim said MyEG's appointment was redundant as NERS already had a 12-year contract.

"No company should earn millions of ringgit a year merely by being a redundant middleman."

He said employers would be paying more due to the present arrangement.

"For each PLKS issued, the government has to pay RM50 to the company. Although not specifically mentioned, we suspect that this is already included in the “process fee” which was RM50 but has now increased to RM125 beginning 2015.

"With the new arrangement, not only employers have to pay the process fee of RM125 among other fees upon renewal, there is an additional RM38 to be paid to MyEG, the middleman," he added.

Sim said it was enough for just either NERS or the Immigration Department to deal with the database of migrant workers.

PKR said on Saturday that Putrajaya’s move to outsource the PLKS renewals to MyEG would see an Umno man make RM137 million in profits.

Putrajaya's decision sent MyEG's share price up by 19% from RM2.10 recorded on January 2 to RM2.50 on Friday.

"Based on the latest announcement, Datuk Raja Munir Shah, a major shareholder who is also former Penang Umno information chief and Tanjung Umno deputy division chief, owns 374,135,796 units of shares or 31.1% of the company (MyEG).

"The 19% increase in MyEG share prices in the last few days has given Raja Munir an RM137 million profit on paper," Semambu assemblyman Lee Chean Chung of PKR said in a statement.

In April last year, Pokok Sena MP Datuk Mahfuz Omar of PAS disputed MyEG's role as he feared that it would not channel all funds collected to Putrajaya.

Meanwhile, maid agencies were also not happy with the new arrangement.

Malaysian Association of Foreign Maid Agencies (Papa) president Jeffrey Foo said the new system would adversely affect more than 400 maid agencies, which were already not doing well financially due to the shortage of maids from source countries.

Some MyEG officers were also threatened by unhappy individuals believed to be "tontos" or "agents", whose livelihoods had been affected by the company's online system for PLKS renewals.