Crackdown on in Malaysia
The Immigration Department of Malaysia yesterday rounded up at least 37 Bangladeshis in a countrywide crackdown against undocumented migrants, raising the arrest tally of Bangladeshis to 789 since Saturday.
Twenty-nine immigration personnel, led by Kuala Lumpur operations head Mohd Sharulnizam Ismail, raided the “Makan Place” food court in Mid Valley Megamall at 11:00am (local time). They proceeded to inspect 120 foreign workers and rounded up 75 among them within an hour, according to the local Malay Mail newspaper. Fifteen of the detainees are Bangladeshis.
The newspaper in its website said those detained were required to fill up a form to inform their employers of their arrest.
“We are committed to conducting more operations from time to time to curb the surge of illegal immigrants here,” Mohd Shahrulnizam said, following the food court raid.
Female workers in handcuffs were seen in tears yesterday as they waited to be loaded onto a truck that would take them to be processed further at the department's office in Sri Hartamas.
In total, 50 female and 25 male foreign workers were picked up yesterday.
Meanwhile, the Kedah Immigration Department detained 27 undocumented immigrants from Bangladesh and Myanmar under “Ops Mega” that was carried out at two separate locations yesterday, according to another report of Malay Mail online.
Its Director Zuhair Jamaludin said in the operation that lasted from 3:15pm to 5:30pm (local time), 22 Bangladeshi and five Myanmar men, aged between 21 and 53, were picked up.
The crackdown was launched after the deadline to apply for the temporary enforcement card (e-card) expired at midnight on June 30, according to media reports.
The E-Card acts as a temporary validation to allow foreign workers who do not have valid documents to work in Malaysia.
The card, however, expires on February 15 next year and before that the cardholder must obtain a valid travel document from the embassies of the respective countries.
The Immigration Department detained 1,509 illegal immigrants for various offences in the first two days of the crackdown. The majority of illegal immigrants detained were Bangladeshis (752), followed by Indonesians (195), Myanmar nationals (117), Filipinos (50) and Thais (45). The rest were from other countries.
They were detained for failure to present documentation, overstaying their visas and misusing their travel permits.
Malaysian Immigration Department Director General Datuk Seri Mustafar Ali said a total of 28 employers were also detained in the first two days.
Earlier, Mustafar said the detained illegal immigrants gave various reasons for not having applied for the e-card.
Soon after the crackdown, a large number of both legal and illegal foreign workers have gone into hiding and their employers fear they will not turn up for work until things have cooled down.
Meanwhile, Mustafar said, the immigration department had detected 40 false E-cards since the registration exercise began on February 15, according to another Malay Mail report.
“We have acted against the so-called agents who attempted to issue the false E-cards. We will act against anyone trying to issue the false cards.
“We have also detained a Bangladeshi national who had eight false E-cards in his possession,” he said, after joining an operation to flush out illegal immigrants in Kota Kemuning.