No levy on migrant workers in Malaysia

Kathmandu, December 31

Migrant workers, including Nepali workers in Malaysia, will not have to pay any levy to the government from tomorrow.

Over seven lakh Nepali migrant workers, who work in Malaysia, will benefit from the Malaysian government’s new policy that came a new year gift to foreign workers.

The Malaysian government has announced that levy should be paid by employers on behalf of foreign workers. As of now, Nepali workers have been paying levy to the government themselves.

According to the online service of BERNAMA, Malaysia’s National News Agency, the decision will come into effect from January 1, 2017. “Employers will not be allowed to deduct levy from wages of their workers,” BERNAMA quoted Deputy Prime Minister Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi as saying.

Nepal’s Ambassador to Malaysia Niranjan Man Singh Basnet told THT over phone from the Malaysian capital that Hamidi, who is also the home minister, made a televised announcement that foreign workers would not have to pay any levy.

He said this was also one of the demands that the Embassy of Nepal had made with the government of Malaysia.

According to Basnet Nepali workers lost up to 250 ringgits for every 1,000 ringgits they earned. Malaysian companies had succeeded in influencing the government in 2012 to allow them to charge levy on foreign workers after the government introduced minimum wage policy the same year. Foreign workers did not have to pay any such levy to the employer before 2013.

The new decision was enforced under the Employer Mandatory Commitment.

Malaysian government also made it clear that employers were fully responsible for their workers from the time of their appointment to the time they returned to their respective countries.

Employers will also have to abide by the Guidelines on the Minimum Standard of Foreign Workers Accommodation and should provide accommodation to the foreign workers.

The government is seeking to sign a labour agreement with Malaysian government in order to address several issues related to Nepali migrant workers. in the Gulf country.