Friday, July 29, 2011

Foreign workers scramble to meet registration deadline across the country

Office overrun - a large crowd of foreign workers waiting to be registered
at the Immigration Department HQ in Putrajaya.

PETALING JAYA: A commotion broke out at the Immigration Department headquarters in Putrajaya as thousands of foreign workers converged outside the office to register themselves a scene that was repeated in many immigration offices in other states.
As workers dashed for cover to avoid the rain in Putrajaya, some were said to have been trampled.
Shouting ensued while a few were seen to trade blows, but prompt action by Immigration officers who were assisted by some Rela personnel prevented any untoward incident.
As of Wednesday, the Immigration Department had registered 504,007 people from 36,249 employers and the figures were expected to reach 600,000 or more by yesterday.
In JOHOR BARU, state Immigration director Nasri Ishak said the department would turn its attention to registering illegal workers and immigrants after the biometric registration programme of legal foreign workers was completed.
The registration of illegals would be made at the department's Taman Tasek Utara office and not at the headquarters in Taman Setia Tropika, he added.
About 100,000 foreign workers in Johor have registered themselves so far. Long queues were also seen at the headquarters yesterday.
A human resource manager for a manufacturing company in Senai, Alami Mahmood, complained that the long wait of more than a day had caused a production slowdown in his company.
In BUTTERWORTH, several company representatives and their foreign employees crammed into the state Immigration Department in Seberang Jaya in a rush to meet the Sunday deadline.
Some had camped outside the building in Jalan Kelasah as early as 4am to collect registration numbers, which were snapped up within a few hours after officers started giving them out at 8am.
Department director Abdul Qadir Siddiq Ahmad said 66 officers, mainly from the enforcement unit, were handling the registration between 8am and 10pm daily since the exercise started on July 13.
“Until July 27, we registered 36,419 workers out of 97,000 in the state,” he said.
In KOTA KINABALU, there was a low turnout due to rumours that illegal workers might end up being blacklisted.
Immigration Department director Mohammad Mentek dismissed the claims, saying the workers would be allowed to return to Sabah once they obtained proper documents.
Over 34,000 illegal immigrants have registered so far under the 5P (Registration, Amnesty, Monitoring, Enforcement and Repatriation) programme implemented in Sabah since July 18.
He said only those with criminal records, including those who left their employers, would be blacklisted. - myStarOnline

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