Following up on the recent implementation of Malaysia's new levy policy, the Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF) has urged country’s prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak to intervene in the issue as reported in Astro Awani.

The announcement had actually came as a surprise to industry players as it was made just one day before it was set to be implemented on 1 January 2017.

A rally held yesterday saw attendees representing 159 associations seeking for the levy to be repealed, including MEF’s executive director Datuk Shamsuddin Bardan, who stated: "This policy is a surprise and we do not see it benefiting the economy. It is not business-friendly and the announcement was made within a day, without any engagement with industry players and (a) grace period (given).”

"We do not agree to this policy because the cost will not only impact us, the employers, but the consumers as well,” he added.

He also noted that “the industries' need for foreign workers was crucial as it was a human resource need which could not be filled by the locals”.

Adding on, Datuk Michael Kang Hua Keong, president of SME Association of Malaysia National said that employers would, in fact, face more risk of losing legal foreign workers.

"As this will incur additional cost to businesses to employ the legal foreign workers, more illegal ones will start to come in,” he highlighted.

"Thus, the aim to manage foreign workers better through the move taken will not achieve its objective," concluded Kang.

The rally saw industry players urging prime minister Najib to look into the matter urgently and maintain the previous system, where levies were paid by the foreign workers from deduction of their wages.

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