Migration Repatriation Programme to commence on March 1, says Home Ministry

PUTRAJAYA: The Migration Repatriation Programme will commence on March 1, says Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail.

The Home Minister said this would enable undocumented foreigners to be sent back to their home countries without being prosecuted.

"The Recalibration Programme 2.0, which ended on Dec 31 last year, has helped to meet demand for foreign workers.

"However, there are still undocumented foreigners in the country so we are starting migrant repatriation on March 1," he said at a press conference at the Home Ministry headquarters on Wednesday (Jan 31).

The programme will facilitate illegal foreigners to be sent home after they have settled compounds for various Immigration offences including overstaying and entering Malaysia without valid travel documents, he said.

"After they settle the compounds, they will be deported without being prosecuted," he said.

On another matter, Saifuddin said the Cabinet had agreed to extend the freeze on the foreign workers hiring quota.

He said there was no reason to stop the freeze, which was imposed in March last year.

"The Cabinet made such a decision as approved quotas for foreign workers and the recalibration programmes are able to meet the demand for foreign workers," he said.

Saifuddin also announced that the Cabinet has reviewed past agreements with three main source countries for foreign workers, namely Nepal, Bangladesh and Indonesia.

"We will renegotiate the terms of agreements with the source countries and see what can be improved.

"We are starting with these three countries as they supply 77% of foreign labour to Malaysia," he said.

The objectives are to speed up the process of hiring foreign workers, reduce migrant costs, ensure the welfare of the workers and protect the rights of employers, Saifuddin said.

"The agreements with the spruce countries are not static but dynamic so it can be reviewed and renegotiated," he said.

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