PETALING JAYA: Foreign workers are subject to background checks before being allowed into the country.
Deputy Home Minister Nur Jazlan Mohamed (pic) said the checks – to determine if the workers had criminal records – were sufficient to reduce the chances of individuals connected with terrorist activities entering the country.
The ministry however was constantly monitoring the situation, he said.
“We treat them (workers) as economic migrants. We have million of workers but so far there are no such problems.
“Usually, economic migrant workers won’t jeopardise their jobs. However if there are new developments then we will definitely look into it,” said Nur Jazlan when contacted.
He was commenting on the arrest of 27 radicalised Bangladesh nationals working in the construction industry in Singapore this week. They were reportedly planning to take part in extremist activities in other countries including Bangladesh and were arrested under Singapore’s Internal Security Act.
Most were said to be members of a closed religious study group that supported the armed jihad ideology of terrorist groups like al-Qaeda and the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.
Immigration Department deputy director-general Datuk Sakib Kusmi said foreign worker screening was conducted in the home country before they were allowed into Malaysia.
A system called Immigration Security Clearance (ISE) was used to clear them, after which they would need to go for a biomedical test to check their health, he said.
“Only after these two steps are fulfilled will they get a calling visa. However, once they arrive and if we suspect something is amiss, we will contact the police,” said Sakib.
He added that the police would then check with the Interpol on the person’s background.
He said the Department had also increased security at all entry and exit points.