JIM Penang targets employers of foreign workers without permits

Butterworth: The Penang Immigration Department will intensify its enforcement activities this year by targeting employers who employ foreign workers without legal documents.

Penang Immigration Director Nur Zulfa Ibrahim said this is because there are many employers who deliberately do not apply for a valid permit or delay in applying to renew their passports for employed foreign workers.

Among the reasons often given by (employers) is being overlooked, being busy and not having time to apply or renew the pass when the inspection is carried out by enforcement officers.

“In fact, there are also those who give the excuse that they don’t know how to get a foreign worker’s pass,” he said.

He said this at a friendly session with media at the Penang Immigration Department in Seberang Jaya, here today.

Nur Zulfa said last year a total of 42 employers were prosecuted for employing foreign workers without valid permits while for this year as of yesterday, a total of eight employers had been prosecuted.

He said his party will not compromise and strict action will be taken against any employer who employs foreign workers without valid travel documents and passports or work permits.

Strictly speaking, enforcement operations will also continue to detect and take action against illegal immigrants (Pati) who violate the law under the Immigration Act 1959/63, to combat the influx of Pati.

Throughout 2023, a total of 2,696 foreigners were checked and 584 of them were arrested for various immigration offences, while as of yesterday a total of 116 were arrested out of 605 who were checked.

“The majority of these detained foreigners are citizens of Bangladesh, Indonesia and Myanmar who mostly work in the manufacturing and construction sectors,” he said.

He said his party also aims to carry out at least 800 enforcement operations this year compared to 435 operations last year, in addition to encouraging foreigners to register with the Migrant Repatriation Program (Out Pass).

The program, he said, gives them the opportunity to return to their country of origin with the exception of prosecution in court from March 1 to December 31 this year.

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