PUTRAJAYA: Starting next month, employers who do not settle their compound with the Immigration Department will be blacklisted and prevented from leaving the country.
They will also not be allowed to have any dealings with the department until they pay up the compound, in a move that has outraged employers and bosses who call this “unfair” and “unnecessary”.
Employers have claimed that some 100,000 out of the 700,000 applications for rehiring illegal foreign workers were rejected.
Immigration director-general Datuk Seri Mustafar Ali said from Sept 1, employers who have not settled their compound payments with the department following the end of the rehiring programme in June would be blacklisted.
He said this was due to employers having yet to pay the compound imposed on them for hiring illegal immigrants.
“They have until end of this month to settle or they will be blacklisted.
“They will be banned from leaving the country and barred from all dealings with our department until they pay the compound,” he told reporters at the Immigration Department headquarters in Putrajaya yesterday.
He added that the employers should have settled the compound when they brought their workers to sign up for the rehiring programme but many did not.
Following the end of the rehiring programme on June 30, the department launched Ops Mega 3.0 to crack down on illegal immigrants nationwide, with 5,444 illegal immigrants and 135 employers arrested since July 1.
However, illegal immigrants looking to avoid detention have been given until Aug 30 to surrender themselves and be sent back to their own countries under the 3+1 amnesty programme.
Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF) executive director Datuk Shamsuddin Bardan, when contacted, said the authorities should not focus on penalising employers who had previously hired illegal foreign workers.
There is no reason, he said, to blacklist employers who have registered under the rehiring programme but had not settled their compound for hiring illegal immigrants.
Most businesses which were registered under the rehiring programme are microenterprises, he added, which made it difficult for them to provide the proper documentation for their applications to rehire their workers to be approved.
About 700,000 applications to rehire illegal foreign workers had been submitted under the programme, he said, but more than 100,000 were rejected.
Asean Traders Association president Datuk Moehamad Izat Emir said it would be excessive to impose compounds on businesses, especially small-time restaurants and sundry shops.
“Depending on the type of business, some do not make enough revenue to even pay taxes and utility bills,” he said.
He said the authorities should look into adopting a policy where illegal foreign workers can negotiate to obtain a long-term visa or a permanent resident status after working for several years here.
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