ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
Immigrant worker registration extension welcomed
The Malaysian government’s decision to extend the deadline to register illegal immigrants under the legalisation and amnesty exercise to August 21 has been welcomed.
Employers and agents said, however, the government should consider extending the registration for another month as there were still many illegal immigrants who had not registered.
Preventor Homeland Security Sdn Bhd adviser Datuk Seri Juniur Khoo said the extension would allow more illegal immigrants to register with the Immigration Department and the 336 Home Ministry appointed agents.
“This exercise is good. It will provide an accurate picture of the foreign workforce in the country,” he said yesterday.
He said employers should register legal and illegal foreign workers before the deadline. Khoo said the government must be firm in taking action against employers, companies and illegal immigrants who had failed to register during the 6P exercise.
“They must be given a deterrent sentence such as a prison term and a few strokes of the cane (rotan) if they were found to be harboring illegal immigrants after the exercise deadline,” he said.
Yayasan Kebajikan Pekerja Asing (YKPA) director K. Jayaraman praised the extension, saying it was a good decision as there were still many illegal immigrants who had yet to register.
“Many tend to wait until the last minute. This has been the culture in the country,” he said, adding that only a handful came yesterday following the extension.
Jayaraman said the fasting month was also a contributing factor to the poor response from illegal immigrants.
Another agent, Mohd Faris Shah said the government should consider extending the registration period for another month to accommodate the unregistered illegals.
“There are about three million illegals in the country but we have only registered 885,000 so far. This exercise has to be extended,” he said.
Mohd Faris said the registration exercise was a good move and should not be stopped midway as the enforcement would be costly for the government.
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