News: New ruling to expand dept's power

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Subject: News: New ruling to expand dept's power
From: Melanie Orhant (morhant@igc.org)
Date: Tue Jan 26 1999 - 17:10:16 EST


New ruling to expand dept's power
The Star (Malaysia), January 23, 1999

JOHOR BARU: One of the proposed amendments to the Immigration Act is aimed
at empowering the Immigration Department to prosecute employers and owners
of premises caught harbouring foreign workers without work permits.

Department director-general Datuk Aseh Che Mat said the amendment to
Section 55E (1) would make the employers and owners of premises fully
responsible for such workers caught at their premises.

"It is difficult now to charge the employers because they claim the foreign
workers caught belong to the contractor, and the contractor claims the
workers belong to the sub-contractor, or they will come out with some other
excuses," he said.

Aseh was speaking to reporters after visiting the Immigration centre at the
Sultan Abu Bakar Complex on the Malaysia-Singapore Second Link in Tanjung
Kupang near here yesterday.

He said the Government would approve applications to recruit foreign
workers, and therefore employers need not resort to taking in foreigners
without a valid employment permit.

"Why take the risk by harbouring illegal immigrants? The levy (on foreign
workers) too has been reduced from RM1,500 per worker to RM1,200 in the
peninsula and RM960 in Sabah and Sarawak," he said.

The proposed amendments to the Act, announced on Jan 4, will be discussed
by the Cabinet soon and is expected to be tabled in Parliament in
March.--Bernama

Melanie Orhant

Co-Director
Human Trafficking Program
Global Survival Network

P.O. Box 73214
Washington, DC 20009
T: 387-0028
F: 387-2590
Email: morhant@igc.org
www.globalsurvival.net


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