Flushed out: The nationwide swoop on illegal immigrants on Tuesday followed a three-month programme to allow employers to register their illegal workers. — MUHAMAD SHAHRIL ROSLI / The Star
PUTRAJAYA: There will be no let-up on the nationwide crackdown on illegal immigrants, says Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
“No way,” he told The Star when asked about the MCA’s call to postpone the crackdown until after the Chinese New Year.
MCA president Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai, in making the call, had said a postponement would prevent inconvenience to the people in the run-up to the celebrations.
He said many traders had complained that their business had been affected, especially in the busy shopping period ahead of the new lunar year.
Liow said enforcement teams were rounding up all foreign workers, whether legal or illegal, and those with proper documents would only be released after proving their innocence.
Dr Ahmad Zahid reiterated that the authorities would step up their operations to flush out all illegal foreign workers from the country.
“We have given them (employers) ample time. They had three months from Oct 21 last year to Jan 20 (to register their illegal workers),” he said.
This was after the 6P Illegal Immigrant Comprehensive Settlement Programme, launched in June 2011, where about 1.3 million of an estimated two million foreign workers were registered.
A large number of them, however, did not come back for further processing.
The nationwide crackdown started early on Tuesday, following the end of the three-month programme to allow employers to register their illegal workers and to apply for them to be legalised or to sort out any documentation that was pending.
Employers had claimed to have been cheated by employment agencies to take in illegal workers.