KUALA LUMPUR: “Surrender to the Immigration Department or you will be arrested after Aug 30.”
This was the warning issued by Immigration Department director-general Datuk Seri Mustafar Ali to employers and their illegal workers who have yet to surrender under the 3+1 Programme.
“Illegal workers and employers are given till Aug 30 to surrender themselves. If they come after that date, they will be arrested.
“We will take action as this is the date set by the Home Minister,” he told reporters after Ops Mega 3.0 at Jalan Raja Laut, here, today.
The 3+1 Programme is a voluntary surrender programme to enable all illegal immigrants in the country who are not eligible under the Rehiring Programme to return to their countries of origin, voluntarily.
The Rehiring Programme ended on June 30.
“Come to us with valid documents, we will handle it well and complete the application as soon as possible, facilitation not frustration,” Mustafar pledged.
He added employers and illegal workers would only need to pay a RM400 penalty and will not be charged if they surrender before Aug 30.
Earlier, a total of 139 illegal workers were detained for violating various offences under the Immigration Act 1959/63 in the Ops Mega 3.0 conducted at premises along Jalan Raja Laut.
“We screened 385 people, aged between 20s and 60s, in the operation. Of the total, 139 were nabbed.
“Majority of them had violated their travel documents. For example, we found someone who is holding a foreign domestic helper document, but is working as a sales assistant at a premise, this is an offence as they had violated their document,” he said.
He pointed out that some employers complained it was difficult to get documented foreign workers and had asked the department to halt Ops Mega.
“It is not difficult, but employers need to fork out more, maybe that’s one of the reasons they are still stubborn and hiring illlegal workers.
“We will not stop Ops Mega. I admit that we need foreign workers in some sectors, but bring them in using the right method,” he said.
Mustafar said the Immigration Department had conducted 8,217 operations in its crackdown on illegal workers between Jan 1 and July 23.
He said 100,710 people were inspected and 24,463 illegal workers were arrested in the oprations, adding that 635 employers were also detained.
Thus far, he said, about 26,000 were sent back to their home countries.