The government will not extend the period for the Enforcement Card (E-Card) application by illegal immigrants after the deadline ended at midnight yesterday.
Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said sufficient amount of time was given and stern action would be taken against the employers and illegals who had failed to apply for the E-card under the Immigration Act 1959/63.
“The government does not restrict them (foreign workers) seeking legal employment in the country, so the employers and workers need to be responsible.
“The Immigration Department has given warnings several times. We have also given ample time. If the employers or employers’ associations apply for an extension, I don’t think it can be done. Firm action will be taken against them,” he said.
Ahmad Zahid, who is also Home Minister, said this at a media conference during his Aidilfitri open house at his official residence, Sri Satria in Putrajaya today.
The E-Card application programme began on February 15 and up till 10 pm last night, only 23% or 161,056 illegals had registered, involving 28,375 employers and the issuance of 145, 571 E-Cards – much lower than the original target of 600,000 illegals.
Employers found guilty of hiring, sheltering illegals as well as abating and allowing illegals to stay in their premises would also be subjected to penalty under the Immigration Act 1959/63.
Among the action liable to be imposed on the employers are fines of between RM10,000 and RM50,000 or a jail term not exceeding 12 months or both for every illegal.
Earlier, Immigration director-general Mustafar Ali said the majority of illegals who had signed up for the programme were from Bangladesh, Indonesia, Myanmar and Nepal. –Bernama