Malaysian Indian restaurateurs cry foul as Govt. doubles levy on foreign workers

March 11th, 2009 - 2:53 pm ICT by ANI  

Kuala Lumpur, Mar. 11 (ANI): The Malaysian Governments efforts to reduce the number of foreign workers by doubling the levy on them, has caused anxiety among Malaysian Indian restaurateurs.
Malaysian Indian Restaurant Owners Association president R. Ramalingam Pillai said that the doubling of the levy on foreign workers would make them unaffordable.
It is going to be tough on us. Many restaurants may have to close shop. The new levy rate would mean that we would be paying about RM10 in taxes per worker per day. We cannot afford this, The Star quoted Pillai, as saying.
Although another representative of the Malaysian Muslim Restaurant Owners Association, Jamarulkhan Kadir, welcomed the Government move to reduce foreign workers, he warned that increasing their overhead costs would mean customers paying for it in the end.
Jamarulkhan urged association members to promote the concept of self-service to keep operation costs low.
A petrol kiosk operator from Klang said the new levy would only further weaken the Malaysian economy. He claimed that his business had already been badly hit and the mini budget served as a killer blow.
I have no choice but not to renew the permits of my foreign workers once they have expired, the operator said.
A businessman from Shah Alam, Lim Eng Kin, welcomed the move.
It is aimed at ensuring that the locals are kept employed during bad times, he said.
Those in the construction, plantation and domestic maid sectors also lauded the move to enhance the levy on foreign workers.
Malaysian Association of Foreign Maid Agencies president Raja Zulkepley Dahalan said he was pleased that the levy on maids remained as it was.
Otherwise we would have no choice but to increase the fee for our recruitment, he said. (ANI)

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