IPOH, April 18 — A total of 490 undocumented immigrants have been arrested since January this year, Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Faizal Azumu said today.
Speaking at the state assembly here, the Chenderiang assemblyman told Yahaya Mat Nor (PH - Pasir Panjang) that those arrested were from 118 operations conducted this year.
"Compared to 2018, a total of 593 operations were conducted by the Immigration Department and 72 joint operations were conducted with various agencies, yielding a total 2,414 illegals who were arrested," he said, adding that 16 employers were also detained.
Ahmad Faizal also informed the House that 3,550 foreigners were deported last year while 627 foreigners were returned to their home countries this year.
"All illegals arrested are placed at the Langkap immigration depot, which can hold 2,500 at one time, pending their deportation," he said.
To a supplementary question from Yahaya, Ahmad Faizal said according to the Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF), among reasons foreigners are employed were the fact that locals shunned critical sectors.
"Besides that, youths are also more inclined to work in sectors that are more suitable for them, compared with traditional sectors like agriculture," he said, noting that such phenomena is the norm in developing and advanced countries.
"This caused the government to allow employers to take on foreign workers in critical sectors such as manufacturing, construction, agriculture, services and mining to ensure their operations are not affected," he said.
Ahmad Faizal also blamed the outsourcing system practiced by the previous government as another reason for foreign workers flooding the market.
"However, after taking over administration, the new federal government has taken several initiatives to control the entry of foreign workers into the country."
"Among steps taken include the Home Ministry doing away with taking in foreign workers through agencies or certain companies. Instead, private employment agencies under the Human Resources Ministry are taking in foreign workers," he said.