The number of arrested undocumented Bangladeshi workers rose to 515 as the first day of the crackdown against illegal workers saw 1,035 foreigners, including three children, and 16 employers detained, reported The Star, Malaysian newspaper, on Sunday.
The Malaysian authorities launched the crackdown immediately after the deadline to apply for the temporary Enforcement Card (E-Card) expired on Friday night.
Malaysian immigration director-general Mustafar Ali was quoted as saying
that enforcement officers inspected 155 premises around the country, screening 3,393 people.
Of those rounded up, he said, the majority, 515, were from Bangladesh, followed by 135 from Indonesia, 102 from Myanmar, 50 from the Philippines, 5 from Thailand and 2 from Vietnam, according to The Star online.
The rest were from other countries, he said, adding that those detained included 101 women and three children.
‘The 16 employers were held for hiring and harbouring illegal workers,’ he said, adding that Johor had the highest number of those caught, followed by Kelantan.
The E-Card will act as a temporary validation to allow foreign workers who do not have valid documents to work there.
As the E-Cards are due to expire on February 15, the cardholders must obtain a valid travel document from the embassies of their respective countries for the purpose of obtaining a work permit or face deportation.
When contacted, expatriates welfare and overseas employment ministry’s acting secretary Jabed Ahmed told New Age that EWOE minister Nurul Islam, who was visiting Malaysia, was monitoring the situation in the country.
Asked what steps could be taken about the detained Bangladeshis, Jabed Ahmed said that they would decide about them after the minister would return on July 7.
Jabed also said, ‘Those who went to Malaysia without taking immigration clearance from Bureau of Manpower, Employment and Training cannot be said to be our workers. They may be Bangladeshis.’
He said that being allured by brokers, many Bangladeshis went to Malaysia without documents and failed to get E-Card during the amnesty period, which was really sad.
According to BMET, over 7.9 lakh Bangladeshis got jobs in Malaysia since 1978.
Source: New Age