Long queue: Employers trying to complete the necessary paperwork at the Home Ministry in Putrajaya.
PUTRAJAYA: The massive nationwide crackdown on illegal foreign workers is expected to get off the ground today as the deadline closed on the legalisation of foreign workers under the 6P programme.
Many employers were seen making a frenzied dash to the 6P One-Stop Centre on the eve of the deadline despite a special three-month extension granted on Oct 21 for employers to finalise the necessary paperwork.
The Cabinet Committee on Foreign Workers and Illegal Immigrants chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin had decided on no further extensions as the Home Ministry vowed to move in and deport the illegals starting today.
A Home Ministry official said although the special programme spanned three months, many employers did not act early.
“Instead, the crowd only started to pile up over the last two weeks,” he said yesterday.
The special three-month programme was mainly to accommodate employers who claimed to have been cheated by employment agents to register their illegal workers.
The latest operation to detain and deport illegal immigrants is the second of such crackdown after the first on Sept 1 last year.
Indonesians were the highest number of those detained, followed by Myanmar nationals, Bangladeshis and Nepalese.
The plantation, construction and manufacturing sectors were said to be the worst hit in the operation as some 17,180 foreigners and 223 employers were detained overall.