No more court date for illegals

PUTRAJAYA: Undocumented foreigners will be sent back to their home countries without facing further prosecution under the Migration Repatriation programme that commences March 1, says Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail.

“The Recalibration Programme 2.0, which ended on Dec 31 last year, has helped in meeting the demand for foreign workers,” said the Home Minister.

“However, there are still undocumented foreigners in the country, so the Cabinet has approved the introduction of the Migrant Repatriation (programme) on March 1,” he told a press conference at his ministry here yesterday.

The programme will facilitate the sending back of undocumented migrants after they have settled compounds for various immigration offences, including overstaying and entering Malaysia without valid travel documents, Saifuddin Nasution said.

“After they settle the compounds, they will be deported without being prosecuted,” he added.

The participants of the Migrant Repatriation programme will be fined RM500 for overstaying or for entering Malaysia without valid passes while those who violate the conditions of their passes will be fined RM300.

On another matter, Saifuddin Nasution said the Cabinet has agreed to extend the freeze on the quota to hire foreign workers.

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

He also announced that the Cabinet has allowed to review past agreements with three main source countries for foreign workers: Nepal, Bangladesh and Indonesia.

“We will renegotiate the terms of agreements with the source countries and look at elements that can be improved upon.

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

He added that the objectives of such reviews are to speed up the process of hiring foreign workers, reduce costs, guarantee workers’ welfare and protect the rights of employers.

On the detention of Bangladeshi opposition leader MA Quayum, Saifuddin Nasution said the Immigration Department was not in contempt of court, adding that the government will not deport him pending the court’s decision.

On another matter, the minister said the remaining two positions in the Independent Police Conduct Commission will be filled at a suitable time.

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