The Immigration Department of Malaysia has started issuing the Enforcement Card (E-Card) to employers who register their illegal foreign workers from Feb 15 till the end of June.

According to theSun, immigration director-general Datuk Seri Mustafar Ali during a press conference at his office that the registration can be done at Immigration offices in the peninsula and state immigration office.

"This program is implemented only in peninsular Malaysia, it does not include Sabah, Sarawak and Labuan.

"This is the last chance for all employers who had hired foreign workers without work permits to register their employees," Mustafar said.

He added that the programme to register the illegals is free and the card will be given to the illegal workers two days after application. The programme ends on 30 June, theSun reported.

"After the deadline, we will proceed with follow up action. If we catch the illegal workers, they will be deported back and action will also be taken against the employers," he said.

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The immigration director-general added that employers must be present with their employees when applying for the E-card and warned employers against applying through middlemen or agents.

"Employers and the employees must be alert and not apply through anyone else except us.

"There were several cases before where certain people had taken advantage of programs such as this and even charged RM7,000 for a fake document," he said.

The E-card is only available to illegal workers from fifteen countries that supply foreign workers to Malaysia. These countries are Bangladesh, Philippines, India, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Vietnam, theSun reported.

Among the safety feature in the E-card included a QR code where applicants details are scanned into the Immigration's myIMS system.

The government made this decision to register all employers who hired foreign workers to address labour shortages in several key economic sectors such as manufacturing, construction, farming, agriculture and services.

Photo / 123RF