Malaysian Govt to Conduct Major Crackdown on Undocumented Workers
06 February 2012 – KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian government is scheduled to carry out a major crackdown campaign on undocumented foreigners starting from 16 February, causing massive fear among refugees and migrants workers in the country.
Malaysia’s National News Agency reported that the large scale operation will target on 1.3 million undocumented foreign workers who failed to legalize themselves under the 6P amnesty program.
The crackdown to be conducted by immigration, army, police and the unpopular RELA volunteer squad is causing great concern among refugees in the country who fear that they will be victimized under the program.
Last year, the government had forbidden the RELA Volunteer Corps to carry out enforcement on its own after several reports of corrupt practices. Some RELA members were reported collecting money illegally from undocumented foreign workers and refugees.
Right activists are also concerned that the detainee swap plan agreed by Kuala Lumpur and Naypyidaw will put Burmese national detainees in danger once they are deported back to their home country.
Another concern is that such a big scale crackdown will cause congestion in immigration detention centers thereby causing other health and social problems among detainees.
It is estimated that more than two million foreign workers registered during the first stage of 6P program but less than half of them come forward for the second stage involving legalizing and ‘whitening’ process.
The major crackdown therefore is targeting on undocumented foreign workers who failed to register at the first stage of 6P and those who registered at the first stage but failed to come forward for the second stage.
Meanwhile under a parallel amnesty program up to 4th January this year, 3,167 out of 75,675 undocumented foreign workers from Burma have chosen to leave Malaysia voluntarily.
Reporting by Thomas Chong