Friday, July 30

Foreign workers can work till 60


KOTA KINABALU: The age limit for foreigners to work in Sabah has been extended to 60.

However, this is subject to the compliance of other terms such as passing the health check, said Sabah Immigration Department director Musa Sulaiman yesterday.

He added that the age extension applied to all sectors.

Musa also informed that the period of service for foreign workers has been extended to a maximum of 15 years. Previously, the maximum period allowed was 10 years.

The enforcement of the new ruling is immediate, he said.

Musa also said that the Sabah Immigration Department had been carrying out daily operations to flush out illegal immigrants from the state.

He said they had a tagline ‘Hari-Hari Operasi’ or H2O for short, which described their daily activity to nab illegals in Sabah.

From January 1 to July 31, they had already conducted 793 operations altogether.

“We’ve checked 23,563 individuals and arrested 2,738 illegal immigrants. We also nabbed 60 employers for offences under Section 55B of the Immigration Act and Section 55E of the same Act,” he said.

The majority of those apprehended came from the Philippines (1,928 people), followed by Indonesia (726) and Pakistan (64).

The remaining were from India (five), China (four), Thailand (four), Virtnam (three) and others (four).

Meanwhile, the Re-Hiring Sabah 2017, a programme aimed at helping employers to legalise their foreign workers, will end today.

Musa urged employers to use the little time left to legalise their foreign workforce.

He said  the response to the programme had been poor and since the start of the programme in February 16, only 1,088 foreign workers were registered. The targeted aim was 50,000 registered foreign workers.

The programme was conducted by Syarikat Inti Padu Technology Sdn Bhd which has its office in Tanjung Aru.

“There are no plans to extend the programme,” he said.

Musa added that the majority of those registered were located in Lahad Datu and in the plantation industry.

He reminded employers that it is wrong to employ foreign workers without valid work passes and they could be implicated for it.

“We will study the reasons as to why the response to the programme was not good,” he said.

“Employees are urged to take advantage of the programme prior to it ending.”

Foreign workers could be registered under the programme for all sectors except housemaids, he said.