KUALA LUMPUR, June 16 — An influential parliamentary committee said today that it will haul in the Home ministry to explain its faulty databases which make it impossible to track the number of foreign workers in the country.
Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed said there are an estimated two million foreign workers in the country, but noted that the Home Ministry’s database did not record the migrant workforce properly, as highlighted by the Auditor-General’s 2013 Report (Series 2) released today.
“If it’s recording properly, we’ll know the exact number of foreign workers in the country,” Jazlan told a press conference at Parliament.
“Today, if you ask that question, it’s difficult for the ministry to answer that,” he added.
Jazlan said the committee would also question the Home Ministry on its biometric fingerprinting system that registers migrant workers.
According to a statement by Deputy Home Minister Datuk Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar in October, there were 2.1 million registered foreign workers in Malaysia.
Deputy Human Resource Minister Datuk Ismail Abd Muttalib was reported by English-language daily the New Straits Times last July as saying that there were 1.3 million illegal immigrants in the country.
The US State Department’s 2013 Trafficking in Persons Report, however, estimates that there are two million documented and two million or more undocumented foreign workers in Malaysia.