Amnesty for Illegal Workers
KL postpones registration
Malaysia has postponed registration of irregular foreign workers but said it will start the process anytime soon, the state-run news agency Bernama reported yesterday.
On June 22, the Malaysian home ministry announced amnesty for irregular foreign workers, and said it would start their registration on July 11 for regularisation or allowing them to get back home without facing penalty.
Later, it postponed the registration until July 18.
Malaysian Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein said yesterday the programme could be implemented “soon if everything was in place.”
He went on, “As such, I hope that before we start the exercise, all involved, including the illegal workers, employers and third countries (to receive deported workers) are in place so that there are no hiccups later,” reports Bernama.
Earlier on July 7, Malaysian newspaper The Star reported that the cabinet decided all the two million legal workers are to be registered in the biometric system before starting on a similar exercise for the irregular ones.
Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said the cabinet felt the need for getting the legal workers registered first, especially when there was information that unscrupulous people were trying to make quick cash from the government’s intention to have the irregular foreign workers registered.
He said some quarters had planned to “turn the legal workers into illegal ones and make some money from this.”
Yassin said, “The employers will be tasked to come out and register their workers, and details of this exercise, including its commencement date will be announced by the home ministry.”
Meanwhile, The Star yesterday reported that several hundred foreign workers in the Malaysian city of Perak went missing soon after announcement of the amnesty.
Representatives of the companies believe these foreign workers, nearly all of them approaching the end of their work contract, ran off in a bid to get themselves legalised in the amnesty exercise, it said.
-With The Daily Star input