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MDEC given deadline to address foreign knowledge workers permits

Publish date: Wed, 29 Nov 2023, 03:36 PM

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) has been given one month to review the permit for foreign knowledge workers (FKW) to expedite the procurement process of highly skilled workers in the call centres industry.

Communications and Digital Minister Fahmi Fadzil said the review was in line with the government's aim to facilitate business considering Malaysia has been a preferred destination for global business services (GBS) since the establishment of the Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) policy, previously.

He added that the review could also pave the way for many foreign companies to make Malaysia the premier destination to open their business in the country.

"The industry is very large, where we have between 200,000 to 30,0000 workers nationwide. Following this, many foreign companies can open their business here.

"(And) when they open a base here, it will also benefit the Malaysian economy and indirectly increase the income of Malaysians, where the economy will grow further with the presence of more workers who will be paid a good salary as well.

"Hence, I have requested MDEC to examine the issues faced (by the corporation), including the review of permits for FKW where they have been given one month to investigate (the permit of FKW)," he said when met by reporters at the 2023 Customer Experience Summit organised by the Contact Centre Association of Malaysia (CAAM).

Fahmi added that the review includes the identification of delays that occur in permit approval of FKW, as well as the mechanism to reduce the delay in the procurement of FKW to Malaysia.

"Previously, the waiting time (for FKW procurement) can take between eight to 12 weeks and it could be more than that.

"However, we want to examine the procurement process of these FKW without neglecting the safety aspect.

"Hence, we will negotiate and discuss with related agencies to see how we can expedite that process and facilitate it for companies who would like to apply (for FKW)," he said.

On other matters, Fahmi also called out for call centre companies to tighten and enhance their cybersecurity system following many attempts of cyberattacks, including phishing, malware and ransomware lately.

This, he said, was because private data obtained by big corporations, such as banks, are prone to have their data stolen.

"Even though there are call centres within organisations such as banks, where their cybersecurity aspects are more robust, I hope for other companies to give more emphasis on their cybersecurity aspects.

"Whether the database is protected and processed by the company itself or by personnel who are administrators of this data, we must avoid it (the database) being the target for criminals to steal data."

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