19,000 Undoc Migrants Arrested in Malaysia since June 30

Malaysian Immigration Department has so far arrested over 19,000 illegal immigrants and 427 employers through its enforcement operations since the E-Card registration programme ended on June 30.

According to report of Bernama, its director-general Mustafar Ali said this huge number was achieved in just a few months due to the department's aggressive step in doubling enforcement operations.

He said the department managed to achieve its key performance indicator target of 850 operations a month since August, and last month alone 1,327 operations were conducted.

‘We have even surpassed the 1,300 target as challenged by Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi but more importantly is the outcome of the operations or action taken on the illegal immigrants,’ he told a press conference at Sarawak State Library here after witnessing over 300 Sarawak Immigration Department officers taking their pledge to stay corruption-free.

In tabling the 2018 budget, Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak announced that employers could opt to hire foreign maids directly from nine countries without going through agents while the Immigration Department announced that from Jan 1 next year, employers could apply for foreign maid permits from the Immigration Department via an online system.

He said in carrying out this exercise due care would be given as with any new system there would always be people out to take advantage of the situation.

He said the direct recruitment of foreign maids which would reduce cost and burden on the employers, showed the government's concern in protecting the interests of all parties, especially working couples who were in need of foreign maid services.

At the same time, he said there were foreigners who arrived in Malaysia after mortgaging their land and homes or borrowing a huge sum of money as they had been promised employment but were cheated by irresponsible agents.

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