Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Only 19% of foreigners legalised (The Sun Daily)

The question remains as to how did these workers become 'illegal'(undocumented). Did they come to Malaysia as documented workers and then became undocumented, or did they enter the country as undocumented migrants and have always been undocumented.

After the registration exercise, some (a small percentage) of undocumented workers were 'legalized' made into documented workers, one wonders how many of these entered the country as documented and how many of these entered the country as undocumented? There has been rumours that some documented workers were 'encouraged' to become undocumented when the 6P program got on the way to be re-registered and made documented again to be working for some other employer... did this happen? Maybe the government could disclose statistic and information about these undocumented workers that went and registered themselves under that 6P programme..

Only 19% of foreigners legalised

KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 27, 2012): The influx of illegal foreign workers is expected to continue as barely 18.95% of over two million workers were legalised during the 6P amnesty programme which was supposed to have ended on Feb 15.

Due to the poor turnout, the Home Ministry, however, has decided to extend the deadline to April 10 for the authorities managed to legalise only 79,000 immigrants, including 94,856 who chose to return home.

Universiti Utara Malaysia political and international studies lecturer Md Shukri Shuib said efforts to restrict the inflow of illegal immigrants would be futile for locals shun low-paying jobs in various industrial sectors, forcing employers to seek workers from abroad.

"Even though some locals were willing to take up the jobs, their number is rather small compared to huge job opportunities and rapid development in our vibrant industrial sectors.

"Lack of interest among locals to fill the vacuum in various industries led to employers resorting to hiring foreign workers to ensure that their operations run smoothly," he told Bernama.

On the low turnout during the 6P amnesty exercise, Md Shukri said the programme could be implemented effectively through concerted efforts from all quarters and not merely government agencies.

"Maybe it is better for the programme to be implemented continuously rather than on an ad-hoc basis for foreign workers will continue to flock to Malaysia due to our rapid development," he said.

Universiti Teknologi Mara's Faculty of Administration and Policy Studies lecturer Dr Syarifah Syahirah Syed Sheikh said management companies appointed as intermediaries between employers and illegal foreign workers should be continuously monitored.

"Ironically, irresponsible people have taken advantage of loopholes in its implementation," she said, adding that the 6P amnesty programme should be strengthened, added value and pursued aggressively.

Meanwhile, the Malaysian Muslim Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DPPMM), one of the management companies appointed under the 6P amnesty programme, signed a memorandum of understanding with Partai Amanat Nasional Indonesia (PAN), an Indonesian political party, on Feb 16 last year to formulate a mechanism to address the illegal immigrant problem.

DPPMM president Jamal Nasir said both parties were working together to set up the PAN Crisis Centre which would provide services to Indonesian illegal immigrants as well as facilitate the 6P amnesty programme. -- Bernama - The Sun Daily, 27/2/2012, Only 19% of foreigners legalised