Malaysia is one of Asia's biggest employers of foreign labour. But recently, cases of deaths, abuse and forced labour have come to light. What is going on? Who is protecting these migrant workers?
SHAH ALAM: Employers of illegal foreign workers can now legalise their employment under the Immigration Department’s E-kad (enforcement card) programme starting from Feb 15.
The registration will be available at all Immigration Department offices in the peninsula.
Equipped with a biometric security system, the E-kad registration will be free and valid for one year – until Feb 15, 2018.
Department director-general Datuk Seri Mustafar Ali (pic) said employers could apply for the E-kad between Feb 15 and June 30.
Only five sectors are eligible under the programme – plantation, agriculture, industrial, construction and services, said Mustafar.
“The E-kad will function as a temporary confirmation of employment to replace valid travel documents from the respective embassies,” he said.
After registration, employers are advised to apply for their foreign workers’ passports and permits from their respective embassies as a temporary replacement of valid travel documents, he added.
Mustafar said the decision to legalise the employment of illegal foreign workers – as announced by the Government on Jan 17 – was made to address shortages in several sectors.
He also warned employers not to go through any middlemen or agents for the process.
“The employers have to register their foreign workers at our offices with the necessary documentation, which will take two days to process,” he said.
Mustafar estimated that between 400,000 and 600,000 foreign workers will turn up to register under the programme.
“For the illegal foreign workers to qualify, they must be employed presently and adhere to the existing rehiring programme regulations,” he said.
They must also be from the approved source countries and not have absconded from any employment or failed any health tests, he added.
“The illegal foreign workers registered under the rehiring programme cannot at any time be allowed to change employers (within the period),” he said.
The registration, Mustafar reiterated, can only be done in the peninsula.
As for the employers, he said they must conform to all existing rehiring programme rules, be from the approved sectors and sub-sectors, and not be blacklisted or suspended by the Home Ministry or its one-stop centres.
Read more at http://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2017/01/25/chance-to-legalise-illegal-workers-employers-can-apply-for-immigration-departments-ekad-starting-feb/#MpRQ1m47LIfLXkl8.99
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