MENTAKAB: Refugees from Myanmar are not eligible for the Comprehensive Legalisation Programme for Illegal Immigrants (6P), Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam said yesterday.He said this was because they were protected under the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the government could not interfere with their affairs.
"According to the UNHCR law, they are placed in the country temporarily pending their transfer to countries that are willing to accept them.
"These refugees are not allowed to work as their welfare is being taken care of by the UNHCR."
He was responding to complaints from Myanmar refugees who claimed they had been laid off by employers who wanted to avoid problems with the Immigration Department in the course of registering them for the 6P programme.
Dr Subramaniam said the refugees could not blame the government for the problem.
"They have to discuss the problem with the Home Ministry. If they want to work, they have to get special permission from the ministry," he said after presenting personal identification documents under the MyDaftar campaign here.
In Seremban, Dr Subramaniam said the Human Resources Ministry was in the final stages of completing all processes before announcing the minimum salary for private sector workers in the country.
He said the effort would benefit 30 per cent of local workers at the moment who received a salary of less than RM900.
The government had ensured that the fixed rate would not burden the employers, he added.
"We have considered everything and this rate will benefit the country, including boosting the economy. More job opportunities will be offered to locals and, at the same time, reduce the number of foreign workers."
The minister was speaking after the groundbreaking for SJK (T) Labu's new building here yesterday.
Dr Subramaniam hoped that the minimum wage would be announced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak next month.
The Finance Ministry has allocated RM1.9 million for the new two-storey building, which will comprise 12 classrooms. Bernama