English World

There’s room for 1.3 mil illegals

KUALA LUMPUR: The five sectors in which foreign workers are allowed can absorb all the 1.3 million illegal immigrants registered under the 6P legalisation programme.

The five sectors are manu­facturing, plantations, agriculture, construction and the service sector.

Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein said this was the findings of the first phase of the 6P.

“My ministry was informed that on paper, employers from five sectors are in need of this number of workers in total.

“However, whether all of the 1.3 million illegal immigants currently registered with us will be employed will depend on whether employers come forward to apply to hire foreign workers,” he told reporters after chairing a meeting with state immigration directors.

He said these sectors are in need of almost the same number of foreign workers.

Hishammuddin also stressed that should these illegal immigrants be given work permits to fill up the vacancies, it would not deprive locals of employment opportunities.

Under the first phase of the 6P programme to register immigrants, which ended on Aug 31, 2.32 million foreigners, of whom 1.3 million are illegals, were registered.

Hishammuddin said the Cabinet committee on foreign workers and illegal immigrants, chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin would meet today to discuss several issues, including whether there was a need for a special policy to employ those who registered under the 6P.

On another matter, the minister said threats received by the Bangladeshi High Commissioner A.K.M. Atiqur Rahman showed that bilateral efforts to combat human trafficking had paid off.

“I have spoken to the High Commissioner last week and we are giving him round-the-clock protection,” he said.

The Bangladesh High Commiss­ion had received threats and warnings from syndicates and middlemen following its decision not to allow third parties to collect passports for those who have registered under the 6P programme.

– THE STAR

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