PUTRAJAYA, May 2 ― The Immigration Department of Malaysia should not be blamed for carrying out the duties and tasks entrusted to them under the existing laws and regulations, said its director-general Datuk Mustafar Ali.
Instead, employers should wise up and be prepared to accept the consequences when they decided to violate the laws and regulations, he said.
“The department will not just stop at detaining illegal immigrants, but will also continue to investigate every case. Employers (who hired illegal immigrants) will also face legal action under existing provisions of the Immigration Act,” he said in a statement today.
Mustafar issued the statement in response to comments made by the management of Kyochon Restaurant on Facebook over the detention of the restaurant's foreign workers.
The comments, according to the department, failed to describe the actual situation, and were described as rash, thoughtless and irresponsible statements which were out to blame the law enforcement authority.
In its Facebook entry, the management of Kyochon Restaurant tried to hold the Immigration Department responsible for supposedly causing inconveniences to its customers after several of the restaurant's foreign workers were detained.
Mustafar said on April 28, an integrated enforcement operation was conducted by the Immigration Department in collaboration with the National Registration Department, Kuala Lumpur City Hall, Companies Commission of Malaysia and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission following complaints from the public that several illegal foreign workers were being employed at Kuala Lumpur Pavilion food outlets.
“In the operation, Kyochon Restaurant premises was also inspected which resulted in the arrest of a local worker and 28 foreign workers for various offences.
“The foreign workers comprised 12 Bangladeshis, eight Filipinos, three Myanmar nationals, two Indonesians, two Nepalese and one Pakistani,” he said.
Mustafar added that the local worker, who claimed to be a supervisor at the premises, was suspected of committing an offence under section 56 (1) (d) of the Immigration Act 1959/63 for harbouring illegal immigrants.
“Employing foreigners without valid permit is a serious offence,” he said while urging employers to register their illegal foreign workers under the E-Card programme which had been implemented since February 15 and would end on June 30 this year. ― Bernama