PUTRAJAYA: Some 140,000 illegal immigrants have been deported to their home countries this year under the 3+1 amnesty programme, says the Immigration director-general.
Datuk Seri Mustafar Ali said the programme, which will expire on Aug 30, allows the illegal immigrants to surrender themselves and return to their home countries.
“They are required to pay a RM300 fine and RM100 for a special pass that would allow them to go back to their respective countries.
“They bear the transportation cost to go back. If they cannot afford it, then their respective embassies or family members must cover the cost,” he said in an interview.
About RM42mil in compound charges and RM14mil in special pass fees have been collected between Jan 1 and July 24.
“A total of 57% of the foreigners who applied for the programme overstayed while the remaining did not have valid passes and permits,” Mustafar said.
Starting Aug 31, large-scale operations will be conducted, he warned.
“Coincidentally, Aug 31 is Merdeka Day, so we also use the day to step up efforts to merdekakan (liberate) our country from illegal immigrants.
“We should take the spirit of Merdeka and channel it towards freeing our country from the illegals’ menace,” he said.
Mustafar said the Immigration Department would not compromise on matters involving the country’s security and sovereignty.
He added that ample time and opportunity was given to illegal foreigners to legalise their stay in Malaysia through the 3+1 amnesty programme as well as the rehiring programme that concluded on June 30.
Meanwhile, on criticism over the department’s current enforcement efforts against the illegals, Mustafar said his officers and personnel were only carrying out their duty.
“Some parties have said that we are being zalim (ruthless) against foreign workers. If they have not committed any offence, then we will not take action against them.
“We have never asked for praise but don’t unjustifiably criticise us for doing our jobs,” he said.
In response to those who lambasted the Immigration for conducting raids on foreign worker settlements or kongsi at night, Mustafar said such settlement were mostly unoccupied during the day as the immigrants were working.
Mustafar also said that some employers manipulated the system to pay a lower levy for foreign workers.
“The levy for the service sector is RM1,850 while for agriculture is RM640.
“Some employers would claim to hire foreign workers for the agriculture sector but actually they use them for the service sector.
“It is clearly a case of fraud and we have detained such employers,” he said.