The Recalibration Plan for undocumented foreign workers has registered 145,830 migrants who took up the offer to return home, or work legally in Malaysia.
Home Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin said the government also netted RM 35.1 million in compounds and payment for special passes for them to return home.
He said that contrary to public perception, the programme has takers, as proven by the numbers.
"This programme will allow authorities to identify migrants for vaccination purposes.
"It is important that they are vaccinated too so that the target of 80% herd immunity can be achieved," he said at the Immigration Department's excellent service awards yesterday.
In November 2020, the government announced the Labour Recalibration Plan, where employers in the construction, manufacturing, plantation and agriculture sectors would be allowed to legally employ undocumented foreign workers.
The government also rolled out the Repatriation Recalibration Plan where undocumented immigrants can volunteer to return to their homeland.
The two plans will be implemented for six months until June 30, 2021.
The Labour and Repatriation Recalibration plans are for employers and undocumented immigrants in Peninsular Malaysia.
Meanwhile, Immigration director-general Datuk Khairul Dzaimee Daud said control at Malaysia's entry points remains strict, not just to ensure those who enter the country have documents, but also to stop imported Covid-19 cases.
He pointed out the health ministry's figures that between April 3 last year and April 18 this year, the number of imported cases recorded was 2,335, or 0.62 percent of the country's 375,054 positive cases.
Khairul Dzaimee also said several ICT innovations have helped manage the department's affairs effectively during the pandemic.
He said among the initiatives is MyTravelPass, a single-window system that manages the entry and exit application for Malaysians and foreigners such as investors, businessmen and professionals.
The online appointment system, which allows for customers to obtain an appointment date online before coming to the department, was also created during the pandemic to avoid overcrowding, said Khairul Dzaimee.
"We have also developed the online enquiry system for those who want to seek answers on current Immigration regulations and policies, and customers will get their response within three working days.
"One other notable success is that the department is now on the top five list among government departments and agencies that have implemented the online payment system," he said.
Operations-wise, Khairul Dzaimee said the pandemic did not slow the department's enforcement activities and it had crippled syndicates involved in human trafficking and document forgery.
He also cited Ops ID Hacking as the department's latest success, a collaborative effort with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission against a syndicate issuing fake temporary work permits which managed to hack into its systems.
"We have put an end to the syndicate after a year of surveillance and investigation," he added.
Copyright: The Star/ Asia News Network