Leave it to the Home Ministry, Johor told

A row of shops believed to be run by foreigners in Johor Baru. - Filepic

JOHOR BARU: The state government should not waste its time and taxpayers’ money to control the influx of foreign workers as this is under the purview of the Home Ministry.

Johor South SME adviser Teh Kee Sin said instead of forming a committee to control the problem, the state government should resolve other issues related to the presence of illegal immigrants.

He said for instance, although foreigners were not allowed to operate small businesses, many were doing so in downtown Johor Baru and secondary towns in the state.

“The local councils must take concerted efforts to stop these activities which have been going on for many years, depriving locals of the chance to do so,’’ said Teh.

He said controlling the influx of legal foreign workers, if not done properly, might affect the country’s economy as certain jobs or industries which locals shunned, were filled by them.

He said this in response to a Bernama report quoting state Education, Human Resources, Science and Technology Committee chairman Aminolhuda Hassan saying Johor plans to set up a special committee to control the influx of foreign workers.

Aminolhuda was quoted saying that at present there was no agency controlling the entry of foreigners, especially the illegals.

Meanwhile, Johor Indian Business Association (Jiba) president P. Sivakumar urged the authorities to charge the owners of business premises found renting their units to foreigners.

He said many stalls at the wet and dry markets, which were under the purview of the local councils, were taken up by foreigners under the pretext of working there.

Sivakumar said some foreigners were marrying local women simply to run the businesses.

“The Immigration Department should also raid premises operated by foreigners,’’ he said.

Sivakumar said another problem was that some local land owners had leased their land, including Malay reserve land, to foreigners who used them to plant fruit trees or as vegetable farms and reaping huge profits.

Johor Consumers Movement Association chairman Md Salleh Sadijo said stern warning and heavy penalties must be imposed on wrongdoers.

“Learn from our neighbour Singapore in managing foreign workers there, including blacklisting those who violated the law and barring them from entering the republic,’’ he said.

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