Thursday, June 9, 2011

Agents to help register, legalise foreign workers

PUTRAJAYA: The Home Ministry will recruit agents to help facilitate in registering and legalising the illegal immigrants in the country.

Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said under the new programme, the immigrants would be registered using the biometric fingerprint scanning system before being re-assigned to the sectors which needed the foreign labour.

"Their biometric details will be taken and they must return to their home countries when their stay expires," he said after officiating the sponsorship presentation of the second General Police Special Equipment Exhibition and Convention (GPEC) Asia 2011 at the Putrajaya Maritime Centre yesterday.

Hishammuddin urged companies, associations and bodies keen to become agents to apply online on the ministry's official website but warned that strict vetting would be carried out to ensure only genuine agents were appointed.
"The companies should not act as outsourcing companies as their role is to help the government reach out to the illegal immigrants. We wish to avoid similar problems faced in the past when we outsourced these tasks.

"Enough of taking advantage of innocent people, regardless of whether they are foreign or local,"Hishammuddin said.

Also present at the event were ministry secretary-general Tan Sri Mahmood Adam and Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Ismail Omar.

The biometric fingerprint scanning system, which was implemented on June 1, requires foreigners entering and leaving the country to have both index fingers scanned at entry and exit points, instead of just having their passports stamped. It is now implemented at 96 entry points in the country.

Yesterday, the Home Ministry's immigration affairs department issued a statement on a "total solution programme for illegal immigrants", where companies, associations and bodies were invited to become agents in facilitating the registration process of illegal immigrants.

The programme which include registering and providing amnesty, is aimed collecting statistics on the illegal immigrant population in the country and to allow them to go home without being penalised.

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