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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs             12  July 2011

Malaysia delays illegal worker registration

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The registration of illegal foreign workers nationwide ahead of an amnesty exercise has been shelved indefinitely until all parties are ready for it, said Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein.

"We have decided to postpone the registration of illegal workers under the biometric system until further notice.

"There are several technical issues and national security matters that we have to sort out first," he told reporters yesterday.

Hishammuddin said the exercise would be held only after all parties were sure that the process could be carried out without any glitch.

He cited the example of the introduction of the biometric system at 67 immigration entry points nationwide recently when minor glitches marred the whole exercise.

"The process went on smoothly except for two entry points between Malaysia and Singapore. We learnt that one or two glitches can affect the entire process," he said.

Hishammuddin did not fix a time frame on when the amnesty would be implemented.

The exercise, aimed at encouraging an estimated two million illegal workers to register by being fingerprinted via a biometric system, was supposed to have started yesterday.

It was meant to grant them amnesty so that they could work legally or leave the country without being caught and jailed.


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This year in Thailand-what next?

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By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More


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