The Malaysian Immigration Department Director General (DG) Dato' Seri Mustafar Bin Ali confirmed that illegal Bangladeshi immigrants will get the opportunity to be legalised under the rehiring process until December 31 this year.
“The Malaysian immigration police will not detain any illegal Bangladeshi workers until December 31. In this time frame, illegal immigrants can also complete the process of legalisation,” said Bangladesh High Commissioner to Malaysia Md Shahidul Islam over phone.
The high commissioner said: “In a meeting with the DG of Immigration of Malaysia on Monday, it was confirmed that all illegal Bangladeshis have the opportunity to gain legal status within December 31 under a rehiring program. Employers were asked to provide a list of all illegal workers who were hired by them immediately to avoid arrest.”
On Monday, a meeting between two-member representatives from the Bangladesh High Commission and a eight-member representative from Malaysia, led by DG Dato' Seri Mustafar Bin Ali, was held in Kuala Lumpur. Representatives from India and Nepal were also present at the meeting.
The Malaysian immigration DG urged people to take advantage of this opportunity, said a press statement issued by the Bangladesh High Commission in Kuala Lumpur.
Nearly 100,000 Bangladeshis with e-cards and 293,000 have been brought under the rehiring process, which covers respectively 57% and 89% of the total application.
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Malaysian authorities have so far rehired 250,000 Bangladeshi workers, providing them with proper documents, said sources of Expatriate Welfare and Overseas Employment Ministry.
At a seminar organised by Reports for Bangladeshi Migration (RBM) on Monday, Additional Secretary of Expatriate Welfare and Overseas Employment Ministry, Javed Ahmed said “Kuala Lumpur is also considering hiring 22,000 more Bangladeshi workers on a government-to-government basis since it would help ease the workers' problems in Malaysia.”
Recently, Malaysian authorities swooped down on thousands of illegal foreign workers and detained hundreds of them, including many Bangladeshis, hours after a deadline for registration passed on June 30.
Immigration officials have so far detained more than 3,100 foreigners, as well as 63 employers who allegedly hired workers illegally have been detained since a drive which began on July 1. Half of them are Bangladeshis.
Sources said that around 400,000 Bangladeshis are legally working in different sectors in Malaysia.
There are reportedly around 2 million registered foreign workers in Malaysia, while another million are believed to illegally employed.
Even though illegal workers are often driven out, certain areas of the country suffer from a lack of labour.
Around 30,000 illegal migrants will be deported this year, according to the immigration department of Malaysia. Legal action will also be taken against employers who hire illegal workers.
According to the press statement, at least 26 Bangladeshi nationals are in different detention camps, serving different periods of detainment.