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Thursday June 23, 2011

6P programme starts on July 11

KUALA LUMPUR: The massive legalisation and amnesty exercise for illegal immigrants, codenamed “6P”, will commence with a two-week registration drive beginning July 11.

During this period, illegal foreign workers and their employers will be spared legal prosecution if they participate in the drive.

Announcing this, Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin described the 6P programme as a “total package solution”.

“The Government has embarked on this amnesty initiative so that we will have the latest and updated list on foreign workers in the country,” he said.

“The move will also allow us to reduce the number of illegal workers,” Muhyiddin said after chairing the Cabinet committee meeting on foreign and illegal workers here yesterday.

The 6P programme comprises registration, legalisation, amnesty, supervision, enforcement and deportation.

It is the most comprehensive programme ever undertaken to cut down on the number of illegal immigrants.

The exercise is expected to take six months to complete.

Previously, such moves were limited to repatriation exercises.

There are an estimated two million illegal foreign workers in the country, almost equal to the number of those working legally in the country.

Once registered, the foreign workers' particulars would be keyed into the biometric system.

“The workers will then be allowed to return to their jobs to avoid disruption of economic activities until we have sorted things out,” Muhyiddin said.

“They would be given proof that they have registered.”

He said all ministries would have to determine the need for foreign workers in their sectors.

Advertisements will be placed to inform locals of job opportunities available, he added.

“Not all vacancies are to be filled by foreigners.”

On whether there would be a need to purge the number of excess workers, Muhyiddin said the next plan of action would be discussed later.

“Action will be taken against employers who do not register their illegal foreign workers after the deadline,” he said.

“We are giving everyone the opportunity to come clean.”

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