Dec 31 deadline for S'wak employers to register illegal foreign workers, says Gerawat

KUCHING: Employers in Sarawak have until Dec 31 to register any illegal foreign workers under the state's labour recalibration programme (RTK), says Datuk Gerawat Gala.

The state Deputy Minister in the Premier's Department (Labour, Immigration and Project Monitoring) said RTK 2.0, which was introduced on July 26, aimed to regularise illegal immigrants in Sarawak as legal workers, subject to conditions set by the state Immigration and Labour Departments.

He said the Immigration Department would conduct a large-scale enforcement operation against illegal immigrants after the deadline.

"Employers found guilty of hiring illegal immigrants can be fined between RM10,000 and RM50,000 or jailed up to 12 months for each illegal foreign worker," he said in a statement on Monday (Dec 11).

Gerawat said illegal immigrants and employers who wished to participate in RTK 2.0 should deal directly with the Immigration and Labour departments.

He said foreign nationals who had entered the country illegally, overstayed or violated the conditions of their entry permits on or before Dec 31 last year were allowed to register under RTK 2.0.

The sectors involved in the programme are manufacturing, construction, plantations, agriculture, services, mining and quarries and foreign maids.

"Employers in the dangerous, difficult and dirty (3D) sector can hire illegal immigrants by registering them as workers during the RTK 2.0 implementation period," Gerawat said.

He said the programme was only for illegal immigrants from 16 source countries, namely Indonesia, Bangladesh, Thailand, India, the Philippines, Cambodia, Laos, Nepal, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Pakistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and China.

"Employers should take this opportunity to register their illegal foreign workers under RTK 2.0 as legal labour in the economic sectors involved," he added.

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