The government has agreed to issue a temporary card or Enforcement Card (E-card) to enable employers to apply for the rehiring of illegal immigrants legally.
Immigration director-general Mustafar Ali said the application for the E-card which would function as a temporary verification to replace valid travel documents, would open from Feb 15 to June 30 at all Immigration offices in Peninsular Malaysia.
“The programme is only open to illegal immigrants in Peninsular Malaysia and only for those with employers listed in five selected economic sectors.
“It is estimated that between 400,000 to 600,000 illegal immigrants will take this opportunity to register under the programme and solve the shortage of manpower in the affected economic sectors,” Bernama reported as he saying at a press conference after a visit to the Selangor Immigration Office in Shah Alam yesterday, Jan 24.
The five economic sectors identified to be in need of foreign workers are construction, plantation, services, manufacturing and agriculture.
On Jan 17, Deputy Prime Minister, Ahmad Zahid Hamidi was reported as saying the Home Ministry (KDN) had obtained approval from the Attorney-General’s Chambers to issue temporary cards for illegal immigrants who were employed.
Commenting further, Mustafar said the Immigration Department would not be using the service of middle men or agents for the application of E-card.
He also said employers and foreign workers were required to be present at any Immigration office with the necessary documents and that the card is free.
“Among the conditions for eligible illegal immigrants are that they must have employers, no criminal record, nationals from the permitted manpower source countries, no case of running away from employers and to pass the health screening.
“Among the conditions for employers are they must be under the permitted sector and sub-sectors, not listed under suspended business or blacklisted by KDN and Immigration,” he added.