PUTRAJAYA – The process of hiring foreign maids can soon be completed in as little as eight days under the new Online Maids System (SMO).
Immigration Department director-general Datuk Seri Mustafar Ali said the system, fully developed and operated by the department, will come into effect on Jan 1, 2018.
He said that previously, the maid-hiring process could take months or in the case of some employers, even years.
Firstly, the employers need to register for an account in SMO,. They would then register their prospective maids and upload the Foreign Workers Medical Examination Monitoring Agency (Fomema) screening document.
“This first three steps which involve the employers could take up to five days because of the Fomema proces. However, we are now pushing for it to be completed in as little as three days,” he said.
The remaining six steps involve the Immigration Department. These are the application and document upload process, followed by document check, approval, result notification, payment via online and finally, printing the Temporary Employment Visit Pass (PLKS) and i-Kad (identity card by sectors of employment for foreign workers) for maids.
“In the final step, we would require the employers and their maid to come to the department have their biometric data recorded by the department before the PLKS is issued.
“This shows that we are committed towards providing fast, accurate and cost-efficient service for the people,” he said.
Mustafar said the fees borne by employers to hire a maid will be as low as RM 1,635, including Fomema screening charges.
“This is cheaper compared to what employers used to pay to hire maids. The fees previously ranged between RM12,000 to RM18,000,” he said.
He said the new system also allow employers to hire maids who are already in the country with a valid or expired social visit pass. However, a compound of RM900 will be charged in this case.
During the tabling of the the 2018 Budget in November, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak had announced that the government will allow employers to hire foreign domestic helpers directly from nine selected countries without having to go through agents.
The nine source countries are Indonesia, Thailand, Cambodia, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, India, Vietnam, Laos and Myanmar.
Mustafar, meanwhile, said employers will need to comply with the requirements, procedures and the cost set by source countries if they choose hire from these countries directly.
In addition, under the system, an employer can only hire one maid. Those who want to hire more maids will have to apply through conventional methods.
Mustafar said employers must also take up a insurance policy for their maids that must include accident, death and other medical aspects.
Employers, he said, should also engage in a written work contract with their maids.
Mustafar said that with this system in place, he hoped Malaysians, especially those who are within the Bottom 40 (B40) bracket could now hire maids at a cheaper price by eliminating the agents’ fees.
“This is what our government and the prime minister had envisioned for all Malaysian regardless their income status, to employ a maid. This is would indirectly increase their productivity at work and the country’s economy,” he told a press conference today.
For registration and more information on the SMO, including the requirements for prospective employers and maid, visit maid-online.imi.gov.my.
MEANWHILE, according to Malaysiakini:
Officials dodge queries on likely snag in maid hiring system
Immigration Department’s top officials have refused to elaborate on how its new domestic worker recruitment system might be in conflict with Indonesian and Filipino regulations.
Both Indonesia and Philippines do not allow the direct hiring of workers by employers and instead make it mandatory for recruits to be done through agents.
However, Putrajaya’s new online recruitment system – unveiled during Budget 2018 in October – was specifically designed to cut out the agents and allow direct hiring instead.
At a press conference to demonstrate the new system today, immigration director-general Mustafar Ali was repeatedly asked whether there have been objections by Philippines and Indonesia.
“We don’t need to touch on that issue first. What we are saying is there are already potential workers from (such countries) here (in Malaysia).
“Employers who have identified the workers, who are already here in Malaysia, can (then) proceed (to recruit them through the online system)…,” said Mustafar (photo).
He said the system’s main aim was to manage potential workers who were already in the country.
“We just focus on the ones (potential workers) who already hold a valid social visit pass, or their social visit pass has expired.
“Those outside (the country), that’s on an individual basis. They (employers) have to manage it (recruitment conditions),” he said.
Mustafar also stated that the process of hiring foreign maids through the online system would only require eight days.
He elaborated that for employers, the process would start with the registration of an account using the system, followed by the registration of their prospective maids and submission of the Foreign Workers Medical Examination Monitoring Agency’s (Fomema) health screening document, which is expected to take about three days.
“After receiving an application from the employer, the Immigration Department will take at least five days for the document check, approval, payment and finally, printing the temporary employment visit pass,” he said.
Immigration director (foreign workers) Khairul Khar Yahya (photo), who was also present, had yesterday said the government has allowed any potential workers who arrived here from Jan 1 to Dec 31 on a tourist visa and have overstayed to be registered by an employer through the system.
On Dec 15, Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi had said one way to circumvent the restrictions in Indonesia and Philippines was for employers to engage agents in those two countries.
When asked to comment on this, Mustafar refused to elaborate.
“Like I mentioned earlier… for the Philippines and Indonesia, there are restrictions. But I don’t want to mention that.
“We are just explaining how good and how well this online system is to assist potential employers and domestic workers,” he stressed.
According to the Immigration Department’s website, the seven others approved source countries for domestic helpers are India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, the Philippines, Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia.
Cambodia barred its citizens from being recruited as domestic workers in Malaysia in Jan 2012.
– NST / MKINI