Economy, Featured, General, Govt, Politics

Bestinet, previously suspended, is now in full-fledge operation

Media statement by Steven Sim, MP for Bukit Mertajam

02 JANUARY 2017 | BUKIT MERTAJAM

 

In the last parliament sitting, I was informed by the Home Minister that the previously suspended Bestinet, a controversial company said to be owned by UMNO leaders, is now in full-fledge operation.

The Minister said that Bestinet is in-charge of BioMedical and the eVDR (visa dengan rujukan) module through its Foreign Workers Centralized Management System (FWCMS).

While the government claimed that it does not pay Bestinet for the system, it acknowledged that Bestinet charges RM100 for each migrant workers going through the FWCMS.

With an estimated two million migrant workers each year, Bestinet will be earning approximately RM200 million a year through this monopoly. This excludes the company holding whatever fees due to the government paid to them by employers applying through FWCMS.

Double medical screenings just to cater to two rentiers?

There is already a compulsory Fomema medical screening on all migrant workers with each screening costing up to RM190. I have written earlier that Fomema Sdn. Bhd., another rentier crony in the Migrant Industrial Complex, is earning over RM200 million yearly for their monopoly of migrant workers medical screening.

Why then is Bestinet given to impose yet another round of medical screening on migrant workers?

Our migrant workers policy it seems is driven more by the needs of the Migrant Industrial Complex rather than genuine needs of the industry.

Another paper-shifter making easy money

Secondly, as I have raised both inside and outside of parliament, why can’t the Immigration Department manage its own eVDR application?

As it is, the department is already providing online application services for other visas and passes. Bestinet is merely a mega agent-cum-middleman earning hundreds of millions a year doing paper shifting work for the Immigration Department.

Malaysia-led recruitment cartels in sender countries

Activists in other sender countries had also complained about Malaysian government appointed monopoly establishing cartels of other recruitment and healthcheck agents in their respective countries.

Such practice will lead to corruption and other abuses, including human rights infringement against migrant workers. The consequences will eventually be faced by Malaysians as our country continues to absorb migrant workers recruited through unscrupulous means and dubious processes.

Will the new Immigration boss stand up against political pressure?

In July last year, I welcomed the appointment of new director-general of the Immigration Department, former deputy chief commissioner of MACC, Mustafar Ali.

I called on Mustafa to initiate three measures, namely,

  1. Stop and review all private vendor contracts by Immigration Department since January 2015. Open tender should be conducted for all contracts henceforth;
  2. Initiate a high-level inter-departmental investigation team to be lead by the Enforcement Agencies Integrity Commission (EAIC) together with MACC and police, to totally crush the insider syndicate operating human trafficking activities;
  3. Support our call for the formation of a Royal Commission on Immigration Reform to fully clean up the whole department.

It is almost half a year since Mustafa’s appointment and we do not see any of these measures being undertaken.

Instead, more and more rentiers are being added into the Malaysian Migrant Industrial Complex, a multi-billion scheme profiting companies close to the ruling party, providing services for the Immigration Department.

This new year, will the Immigration Department boss stand up to political pressure and join us to expose these abuses to put an immediate stop to them?

Steven Sim Chee Keong
MP for Bukit Mertajam
Deputy Spokesperson, DAP Parliamentary Committee for Human Resources

 

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About stevensim

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