2,433 held so far in crackdown on illegal immigrants ..in accordance with the principles of international law, including that demanded by the International Labour Organisation (ILO), to avoid human trafficking
The questions that we must be asking is why are there undocumented migrants? Is it because to come to Malaysia to work as documented migrants is 'too expensive' or inaccessible?
Who are these undocumented migrants? Did they come into Malaysia as undocumented migrants, or is the majority really documented migrants that became undocumented? If so, why does this happen?
Is it because the 'contractors for labour', people with no work who just supply workers to real employers, just could not find work for these migrant workers? Is it because employers 'cheated' migrant workers and working conditions were oppressive that workers had no choice but to 'run away' and become undocumented migrant workers? Best to return to the practice that workers come in as employees of the PRINCIPAL(i.e. the factory/business that have work and need workers). It is these employers that must be responsible for migrant workers, right from recruitment until the end of the employment relationship. These employers must be encouraged to go to the country of origin interview and pick workers based on their needs and required skills. [The contractor for labour, a mere labour supplier, would just bring in workers in bulk - and the principals who need workers find that the workers supplied may not meet their requirement - then what happens to the poor migrant worker?] Abolish the 'Contractor For Labour System' - back to direct employment by owner/operators of workplace that have work and need employees.
The restricted to 1 Employer policy must be reviewed - no worker must be forced to have to work for an oppressive or untruthful employer. In the spirit behind that 6P, Malaysia needs to allow such migrant workers time to find other Malaysian employer and if they do they should be allowed to continue to remain in Malaysia and work for the new employer.
Access to Justice - Errant employers rejoice for in Malaysia the rights violated migrant workers effectively cannot get justice. Why? When they claim rights, these employers terminate them and work towards canceling their work permits - hence the migrant worker loses rights to remain in Malaysia and claim rights. Malaysia must change this, and allow workers who have filed complaints or their their trials/hearings are ongoing to be able to remain and work legally in Malaysia until the process towards justice ends. Now, many migrant workers may become undocumented migrants because of these BAD employers - they sometimes have no choice but to earn enough monies in Malaysia before they can go back. Why? Most have incurred great debts in their country of origin before they came to Malaysia to work... To just return to their home country sometimes is not only embarrassing but more importantly would land them (and their families) into a worse situation than before they elected to come to Malaysia to work.
CRACKDOWNS are never the solution. Malaysia needs to study the reasons - and deal with it.
Work of the government must be done by public servants. The 6P was a private funding initiative, and many of the appointed agents were 'recruitment agencies' and businesses, the very same that many migrant workers have much complaints against - cheating (promised something when they agreed to be employed, and later breaching these promises - underpayment of wages, overtime, accommodation, etc. According to parliamentary answers, government did not spend anything - why would the private sector be interested in this work unless it profits them? Or were they just being humanitarian and absorbed all losses? Who paid for the 'government officers and departments involved'? See the answers given in Parliament at Who funded the 6P programme? - Private Funding Initiative (PFI)? So who funded, and why?
Now, they are calling this new crackdown the 'the integrated 6P illegal immigrant comprehensive legalisation programme'. Malaysia needs to come clean, and be transparent and accountable as to what it really is doing?
With the implementation of minimum wages, today many Malaysian workers would be attracted back to take up many of these jobs - but then, the denial of minimum wages to workers in certain businesses/sectors, the reduction of the cost of employing migrants by permitting what is traditionally unlawful wage deductions save with 'special permission' from the government, raises much questions about Malaysia's position on employment in Malaysia.
After this crackdown, it would not be surprising that many businesses/industries would be again raising concern about worker shortages, a phenomena that happens every time after a mass-crackdown, and these voices, unlike civil society voices, would find space in local media...
Some say that these crackdowns are just to 'pacify' local communities. If there is no employment opportunities in Malaysia, then there would not be so many undocumented migrants. Or is it that employers prefer migrant workers over local workers?
Migrant workers are getting arrested - what about those that provided employment to these migrant workers? Too many questions - always unanswered to my satisfaction.
2,433 held so far in crackdown on illegal immigrants
September 02, 2013 01:57 pm
A Detained suspected illegal migrant worker from Indonesia sits in an immigration truck during a crackdown on illegal migrant workers in Klang, outside Kuala Lumpur September 1, 2013. — Reuters pic
PUTRAJAYA, Sept 2 — The Immigration Department arrested 2,433 illegal immigrants for various offences in 40 operations on the first day yesterday of a nation-wide exercise to flush out illegal immigrants in the country, Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said today.
He said 8,105 people were checked throughout the country as part of the integrated 6P illegal immigrant comprehensive legalisation programme carried out by the various enforcement agencies of the ministry and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).
Ahmad Zahid said Indonesian nationals made up the biggest number of illegal immigrants arrested, accounting for 717, followed by Myanmar nationals (555), Bangladesh nationals (387) and Nepal nationals (229).
Also held were nationals from Cambodia, Vietnam, India, Pakistan, the Philippines, China, Nigeria and Thailand, he added.
"This operation is not seasonal and will not end on December 31 this year. This is an ongoing operation and we will not compromise. Our target is to achieve zero illegal immigrants,” he said.
“This shows the seriousness of the Home Ministry and Immigration Department (to flush out the illegal immigrants). Ours is not a spur-of-the-moment action,” he told reporters after attending the monthly assembly of the Home Ministry, here.
In the exercise yesterday, 2,207 personnel from the ministry’s agencies, such as the Immigration Department (976 personnel), People’s Volunteer Corps or Rela (479), Royal Malaysia Police (370), Department of Civil Defence (94), National Registration Department (72), Anti-Smuggling Unit (43), National Anti-Drugs Agency (33) and MACC (48) were involved.
Ahmad Zahid said the ministry would continue to work with the diplomatic missions of the countries which are a source of immigrant workers to facilitate the issuing of permits.
“We will take action in accordance with the principles of international law, including that demanded by the International Labour Organisation (ILO), to avoid human trafficking,” he said.
The Ops 6P programme involves an ongoing exercise to trace, arrest, prosecute and extradite foreign nationals who violate the country’s immigration and anti-human trafficking laws.
Ahmad Zahid gave the assurance that the Immigration Department was prepared to approve applications for permits if the applicants adhered to rules and the proper channel.
“Although there have been claims that the Immigration Department made it difficult for them by not issuing permits despite repeated applications and through various means, I give the assurance that permits will be issued for applications that are in order.
“I hope the people will not use the services of middle-men but go directly to the One-Stop Centre represented by the ministry and departments to verify the issuing of permits by sector,” he said. — Bernama - Malay Mail Online, 2/9/2013,2,433 held so far in crackdown on illegal immigrants