Citing ‘vested interests’, former minister wants foreign workers’ report be made public
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PUTRAJAYA must make public the report on the management of foreign workers as “not a single recommendation has been implemented to date,” said former human resources minister M Kulasegaran.

Kulasegaran in a statement today said he agreed with former finance minister Tun Daim Zainuddin’s remarks that “vested interests” had hijacked government policies on the matter.

Daim, in a prepared interview sent to media agencies on June 12, said the previous Pakatan Harapan government had ignored policy recommendations on the management of foreign workers and that the repercussions could be seen today.

Kulasegaran said during his stint as human resources minister, he initiated a
a transparent Special Independent Committee on Foreign Worker Management.

The committee, which was sanctioned by the Cabinet to study the issue, was headed by former Court of Appeal judge Datuk Seri Hishamuddin Yunus.

“I had stated many times and even to the Press that the committee was tasked with studying the issue and coming up with the recommendations in a report that will be made public,” Kulasegaran said.

The final result, said Kulasegaran, who is also Ipoh Barat MP, was a “comprehensive report” that included 40 recommendations that were presented to the Cabinet for deliberation.

“There was even a special sitting of Cabinet just to discuss the foreign workers’ issues. Thereafter, the Cabinet set up a committee headed by the Chief Secretary to the Government (KSN) to suggest how the recommendations/proposal should be implemented,” he said.

Kulasegaran said among the core recommendations of the independent committee were for the establishment of the Human Resources Ministry as the single authority for the management of all foreign workers.

“The most significant implementation was the abolishment of the Outsourcing Licence for foreign labour supply. This would bring an end to third-party service providers or agents which are thought to be the main obstacle for foreign workers management reforms,” he said.

Kulasegaran said that in February last year, he and his team even met then home affairs minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin to discuss the proposals. Muhyiddin is currently prime minister.

“As far as I know I did my duty to hand over the independent report to the Cabinet. Although there was pressure from many ‘individuals’ on the management of foreign workers, I believed that the recommendations from the special independent committee would be the best way forward and did not consider changing my stance,” he said.

But “not a single proposal of the said report has been implemented to date,” Kulasegaran added. - June 23, 2020

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