Need to put a stop to visa abuse


  • Letters
  • Wednesday, 15 Mar 2006

DATUK Seri Radzi Sheikh Ahmad, the new Home Affairs Minister, should sort out the visa issue, which has been abused by many foreigners. 

There have been frequent reports of visitors coming in as students or tourists while their main purpose is to stay back to work. This is a massive problem that will have to be sorted out quickly. 

Otherwise, the number of illegal immigrants will continue to grow and this will pose serious social and security problems to the Government and people. 

The Immigration Department, which comes under the ministry's control, must take a stronger stand to deal with such offenders. The lack of proper enforcement is partly to blame. 

It is not sufficient to just go after those who come in under false pretences. The department must go after the syndicates bringing such people in as students and finding work for them on arrival. 

Due to lax enforcement, even those whose countries are not on the approved list to work here are getting in to do so due to immigration loopholes. 

If the department has knowledge that such syndicates are bringing in such workers under different guises then surely some sort of legal action should be taken against those behind such scams. 

If the department should lack the legal authority to do so, then it must seek the assistance of government agencies such as the police or the Attorney-General's Chambers to stop such activities deemed detrimental to the nation's interests. 

At the same time, the ministry must distinguish between genuine and bogus students trying to gain entry into the country. Unfortunately, those coming in as students are having difficulty in obtaining visas, which is very frustrating to the private colleges and universities. 

Such delays are hampering their plans to bring in more foreign students, which is in line with the Government's objective of making Malaysia a regional educational  

hub. 

However, the department must keep a sharp lookout for students from countries whose citizens are not permitted to work in Malaysia. The age of the students is a giveaway, so is the subject they wish to study. 

One example is the study of languages, particularly English. While English is widely spoken, Malaysia is certainly not an ideal place when it comes to learning it. There are other countries much better suited for this purpose. 

Another obvious slip is that those applying for such courses are from countries where English is commonly used and there is therefore no genuine reason why they should choose Malaysia to study it. 

To stop this practice, the Government must reverse its earlier permission to allow foreign students to work in order to lighten their financial burden.  


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