KOTA KINABALU: Community Development and Consumer Affairs minister, Datuk Jainab Ahmad Ayid, says she supports the Immigration Department’s move to push for the caning of employers found guilty of employing illegal foreign workers.
“Yes, I support. It is about time that we are strict on this because these employers are taking advantage of the government’s good nature,” said Jainab to The Borneo Post here yesterday.
“If you notice, most of these employers are also responsible for ruining the environment or causing social problems, and a majority do not assist the government to solve those problems.
“Most employers who assist are basically GLC (government-linked companies), and a few from the private sector here,” she elaborated.
According to Jainab, she has, in the past, agreed with Deputy Prime Minister cum Home Minister, Datuk Zahid Hamidi, who pointed out that employers are bringing in illegal foreign workers into the country by secretly hiring them.
However, the sword fell on the government instead, when the people assumed illegal workers are brought into the country by the administration, she added.
Jainab urged employers in Sabah to hire local workers and invest money into their grooming and taking care of their welfare by providing them with accommodation, instead of spending money on hiring foreign workers and other things like levy and foreign worker’s medical check-up.
She emphasized that employers should also bear in mind the consequences of cultural issues and social illnesses that could stem from hiring illegal workers.
Employers found guilty of hiring and harbouring illegal foreign workers will be charged under Section 55B of the Immigration Act 1959/63, which provides for a jail term of between six months and five years, and a fine of between RM10,000 RM50,000 per employee, and up to six strokes of the rotan.
Recently, Immigration director general, Datuk Sakib Kusmi, revealed that the department had relaxed certain rules and punishments and excluded caning from the recommended sentence.
However, they will now push for the courts to impose caning to deter others from committing the crime in the future.