Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Raids against illegal immigrants in Malaysia currently off, says Minister Nurul Islam

  • Staff Correspondent,
    Published: 2017-07-16 18:50:42 BdST


Malaysia has suspended its crackdown on Bangladeshis staying there illegally, because of the Bangladesh government’s initiative, according to the expatriates’ welfare and overseas employment minister.

“According to their deadline, the illegal immigrants can sort out the legal issues by December. But they had started the raids suddenly. Then our government reached out to them about this and they stopped the crackdown,” Nurul Islam told a seminar at the ministry on Sunday.

Malaysia’s immigration department had accepted applications for temporary work permits or Enforcement Cards (e-cards), which is mandatory for any immigrant worker with proper documents to extend their stay, for the past four months. The deadline ended on Jun 30.

That very midnight, the immigration authorities launched a large-scale operation to flush out illegal immigrants in the southeast Asian country. Of the 1,035 foreign nationals detained on Jul 1, 515 people were Bangladeshis.

According to Bangladesh High Commission officials, the e-card grants permission to stay until Feb 15 next year.

This means that those without a valid passport or permission to work may stay and work in Malaysia until Feb 14.

But the high commission has urged all Bangladeshis to obtain legal status as soon as possible by collecting their passports and finish the rehiring process.

The expatriates’ welfare and overseas employment minister on Sunday said Malaysian government’s position was the obstacle in shutting down the syndicate in the labour market there.

“Bangladesh government did not set up the syndicate in the Malaysian labour market. The Malaysian government did that. Bangladesh had sent a list of at least 1,100 agencies. But they only approved 10 of them for exporting manpower.”

“They could have shut the market if we hadn’t agreed to 10 agencies. That’s why we didn’t say anything else about this.”

Nurul Islam said the government is working to open up new labour markets in different countries including Japan and Russia.

Bangladesh has sent 554,000 workers abroad in the first six months of 2017, Director General of Bureau of Manpower, Employment and Training or BMET Selim Reza told the seminar on Sunday.

“At the yearend, one million workers will be sent, breaking records of the past,” he said, adding that the highest number in manpower export in a year was 875,000 until now.