BUTTERWORTH: Illegal foreign workers thronged the state Immigration Department headquarters here after the Christmas break as thousands attempt to submit their Back For Good (B4G) application forms before the New Year’s Eve deadline.
Some of them arrived here from as far as Kuala Lumpur, claiming that the queues in Putrajaya and the capital were just too long.
Kurniawan Yulia, 32, said he came to Seberang Jaya to submit his application because the Immigration counters in Putrajaya and Kuala Lumpur were packed with people since last week.
“I already made the necessary arrangements, such as buying flight tickets. But the queue is too long and many of us were asked to go the next day.
“So I decided to submit my application here so that I can fly back home on time, ” he said yesterday.
Kurniawan is from Makassar, Sulawesi, and has worked in Malaysia for 10 years.
He arrived on Wednesday night with his friend and successfully registered himself at about 9am. Although he went early, he still had to wait as many others had queued even earlier than him.
Another Indonesian, Zahamin Talib, 40, said she felt relieved that she could finally go back to her hometown in Gili, Lombok, after more than five years working in Malaysia.
“It was my employer who took the initiative so that I could apply for this programme. I will soon see my family again, ” she said.
She said she was in the dark about B4G, but luckily her employer told her about it.
Zahamin said she would fly back home on Monday.
Seri Rama Dani, from Medan, said she purposely waited until yesterday to submit her application because she wanted to earn more money in her final week of work.
She said she incurred a high cost in her first year working in Malaysia and she wanted to take the opportunity to earn as much as she could before going home for good.
Bangladeshi Kader Mohamad Mitonades, 45, said the Malaysian government should extend the deadline as there were too many applicants at the counters.
He said although he knew that the B4G programme was offered since August, the duration was still too short and claimed that many others were unable to make it on time.
“The programme is a good amnesty scheme, not many countries do it. We are thankful, but there are too many wanting to apply, ” he said.
Kader was at the Immigration headquarters since dawn yesterday with his brother.
More than 10,000 foreigners in Penang had registered for the B4G since the programme started in August.
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