I am not sure how long this scene of Malaysians getting special benefits from MOM (to get EP below the salary criteria) has been going on, but it has definitely been around for at least 3 years.
I know this because my Malaysian ex-colleague in my previous company, has been holding onto her EP (renewed before too) for 3 years despite drawing lesser than the required salary, as stated on MOM’s website.
When I first got into my previous company, the boss was certainly very confident that he would be able to get me the EP with just paying me $2400. Initially I doubted him, as that was not to my knowledge and it was not openly stated anywhere on MOM’s website about this. However, when the EP came, I checked the application form which my ex-boss has filed to MOM for my work visa, and he did not lie to MOM about the salary that he would pay me monthly. It was indeed reported to MOM as 2,400, and it was approved. It came as a surprise for me, but according to my ex-colleagues, who happen to be mostly Malaysians, it was the same for them.
I believe that this may not be applicable to other nationalities.. as the Indonesians in the very same company I have mentioned above had to be under S-Pass instead. I even tried checking the self assessment tool just like the user who opened this thread, and my qualifications warrants an EP and S-Pass, whereas an Indonesian with exact same qualifications would only be able to get a S-Pass only.
Hope that this helps to give a clearer insight… Sorry if I’m reviving an inactive thread, but thought I would just like to share this information. Anyway, peace out.