JOHOR BARU: Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) Association of Malaysia chairman Teh Kee Sin (pix) has proposed a trial period for online processing of work permits for foreign workers (PLKS). He said many employers are upset over the new requirement by the Immigration Department that commenced on Jan 5. Teh said the procedure was implemented in a rush without any in-depth study and described the new measure as unwise and unfair to employers. He said the intent of the move is good as it promotes paperless and electronic transactions to society, but there are many factors that need to be considered. It is unfair for MyEG to collect RM38 per application as the Immigration Department already charges a processing fee of RM125 for each PLKS application, he added. He said the fee is an additional burden to employers as the total fee for each PLKS is between RM1,450 and RM1,800, depending on the industry. Teh also questioned MyEG's ability to handle the volume of PLKS applications by about 20,000 SMEs. He said the counter service should continue and proposed the online system be put on a one-year trial period. Meanwhile, The Malaysian Knitting Manufacturers Association issued a statement that companies have been caught unprepared by the sudden change of system. No prior consultation was carried out with industry associations to justify and analyse the overall consequences, it said. The association suggested that the government provide a longer time frame for companies to adjust to the change, adding that the effectiveness of MyEG is still unproven. While calling for counter services to resume immediately, the statement proposed that the MyEG option be implemented to complement the existing process, without additional charges.