Foreigner-Malaysian marriage ‘loophole’ being looked into

  • Nation
  • Wednesday, 06 Nov 2019

THE issue of foreigners marrying Malaysians to circumvent labour and immigration laws is being looked into, says Datuk Raja Kamarul Bahrin Shah Raja Ahmad.

The Deputy Housing and Local Government Minister said his ministry together with the Home Ministry were discussing ways to overcome this.

“We cannot deny that foreigners marrying locals happen and we admit it is a main issue.

“However, when it comes to marriage and love, we cannot do anything. People do fall in love, it is their personal matter,” he said.

But he acknowledged that such marriages would open room for foreign workers to circumvent local laws.

“But the Housing Ministry has limited powers on this.

“We merely monitor and inform the Home Ministry as they will know better in terms of the legal aspect,” he said in reply to a supplementary question raised by Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong in the Dewan Rakyat yesterday.

Dr Wee had asked about measures taken by the ministry to put an end to instances where foreign workers marry Malaysians to obtain permanent residence status.

Earlier, Raja Kamarul said 43,612 enforcement operations had been conducted against foreign workers who run businesses without licences, from January 2017 until Aug 31 this year.

Based on statistics by the Immigration Department and the Home Ministry, Raja Kamarul said 132,654 illegal foreign workers as well as 3,666 employers were arrested during the operations.

The Immigration Department, he said, had conducted 139 operations at wholesale markets from Jan 1 to Sept 26 this year and through that, some 375 illegal foreign workers and 54 employers were caught for various immigration-related offences.

Raja Kamarul also said that local councils had conducted joint enforcement operations with other agencies such as the police and the Immigration Department.

To date, 599 operations have been conducted by local councils against foreign workers who do business illegally in the country.

“The Cabinet had agreed to form a committee to monitor foreigners running business in the country which will include representatives from various ministries and agencies.

“The committee’s role is to prevent foreign workers from dominating several wholesale markets in the Klang Valley,” he said.

Raja Kamarul said the ministry had also issued a letter to local councils to increase their joint enforcement operations to reduce the monopoly of businesses run by foreign workers in these markets.
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