Bosses have until Dec 31 to legalise undocumented workers before large-scale enforcement, says Hamzah

PUTRAJAYA: Employers with illegal foreign workers under their employment have until year’s end to participate in the Home Ministry’s Recalibration Programme, said Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin.

The Home Minister said this is because on Jan 1, his ministry and the Human Resources Ministry would embark on a large-scale enforcement operations to nab undocumented migrants.

"The Recalibration Plan is a chance for employers who are hiring illegal foreign workers to come forward and register with the programme to ensure that all individuals in the country are legal and documented.

"We want employers to take this matter seriously because having illegal workers will lead to problems.

"We saw how recently when we tried to vaccinate foreign workers, it became difficult with illegal migrants.

"As a result, some undocumented migrants died due to Covid-19, and that only leads to more problems.

"So get your workers registered with the recalibration programme before Dec 31.

"After that, there will be a large-scale enforcement operation to swoop in on illegals," said Hamzah at a press conference at the Human Resources Ministry here.

He was speaking after a joint meeting with Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri M. Saravanan on Tuesday (Oct 26).

There were two parts to the recalibration programme - Labour and Repatriation.

The "Labour" recalibration programme was implemented to allow employers in certain sectors such as construction, manufacturing, plantation, agriculture and service to legally employ undocumented foreign workers.

The "Repatriation" recalibration programme is where undocumented immigrants could volunteer to return to their homeland.

Hamzah said a total of 212,926 undocumented migrants had registered to be regularised as legal workers under the Labour recalibration programme.

"Of that total, 34,318 undocumented workers have passed their verification process, while another 20,889 failed.

"Another 157,719 have yet to attend the verification process with the Immigration Department.

"Those who failed in the regularisation process will be automatically deported under the Repatriation recalibration programme," said Hamzah.

Hamzah said the government received RM106,463,000 in deposit money from the Labour recalibration programme, while the RM4,146,266 was collected from levy, pass, visa and processing fees.

As for repatriation, Hamzah said 124,423 undocumented workers had been deported home as of Oct 21.

"The government was also able to generate RM71,368,700 from compounds collected under the repatriation programme," he said.

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