PETALING JAYA: Due to the massive publicity over the nationwide crackdown against illegal workers, many of the places visited by the enforcement personnel from the Immigration Department, the police and Rela were almost empty.
The front wall of a kongsi in Klang which was spray painted with the message that reads “besok malam orang yang kosong berhati-hati” (tomorrow night all those without documents be careful) is proof that most of the illegal workers had gone into hiding.
Selangor Immigration Operations director Othman Montil said the department usually detains over 200 illegal immigrants during unannounced raids at certain kongsi but during a visit to a kongsi in Denai Alam, near Shah Alam they only managed to detain 21 people.
“They have all probably gone into hiding as the beginning of the raid has been widely announced in the media,’’ said Othman.
“Just go to the hospitals’ waiting areas and you’ll see many of them there,’’ he said.
A closed community Facebook page Pusat Konsultasi TKI Malaysia has also been set up to help illegal workers evade arrest.
Escape routes, ways to deal with the authorities if arrested and what to bring if one needs to hide in the jungle were among the tips shared by its members. The page with over 12,800 members of various nationalities, also provides information on job opportunities in Malaysia.
In GEORGE TOWN, illegal workers in Sungai Nibong ran helter-skelter upon seeing a raiding party arriving.
Some hid under tarpaulin and wooden planks in an attempt to avoid arrest but it was all for naught as the raiding team saw through their tricks.
One even pretended to pass out while another claimed that he could not walk after falling from high ground.
Several were caught hiding in the toilets, closets and water tanks.
Penang Immigration Department enforcement assistant director Basri Othman said there was no point trying to hide from the enforcement personnel as they have seen and identified all the tactics used.
In KOTA KINABALU, a British professional without a valid working permit was among 700 foreigners netted in a swoop on illegal immigrants.
Sabah Immigration Director Noor Alam Khan said the man was believed to have misused his pass which was only for Peninsula Malaysia.
In ALOR SETAR, Kedah Immigration Department assistant deputy director Nar Azaman Ibrahim said 13 children between three and 12 were among 144 people arrested.
“We believe that the children were born in this country,” he said.
In KUANTAN, some illegal workers used the excuse of needing to answer the nature’s call while others pretended not to understand Bahasa Malaysia in their attempts to escape.
In total, 261 illegal foreign workers were arrested in the state.
Crackdown affecting businesses
A midnight swoop that was filled with drama
Over a thousand immigrants detained on first day of ops
Government gave ample warning to register workers