Sunday, September 20

It’s not easy to slip into Malaysia


There are syndicates that are trying to bring people in as female tourists from China, but authorities have measures in place to stop them, says Khairul. Bernama Photo

PUTRAJAYA: Who says it’s easy to slip into Malaysia?

That’s merely a perception, said Datuk Khairul Dzaimee Daud, the director-general of Immigration.

This year, up to Sept 10, the Immigration Department denied entry into the country for about 30,000 foreigners because they did not meet the requirements.

Some of these people came as tourists and some as foreigners coming to work in the country but were not claimed by their employers. They were issued with a ‘Not to Land’ notice.

The most number of foreigners denied entry were Indonesians, next came the Bangladeshis and then the Chinese although all of them came with a valid pass to the KL International Airport (KLIA), Khairul Dzaimee told Bernama in an interview at his office here.

“Many of them tried to enter (the country) as tourists. They were unable to disclose their place of stay in the country, their social visit pass was for just 30 days and they had only RM200 with them.

“Some of these people are suspected of trying to enter the country to work in entertainment outlets. I do not deny that syndicates are trying to bring people in as female tourists from China,” he said.

Khairul Dzaimee said stringent surveillance measures have been put in place at the entry points of the country to prevent foreigners suspected of trying to slip in, so as to solve the problem of illegal immigrants.

Statistics indicate that as of Sept 10 this year, there were 12,142 Indonesian illegal immigrants in the country; followed by 8,056 Bangladeshis; 3,635 Myanmar; 3,149 Filipinos; 2,127 Thais; 2,006 Indians; 1,436 Pakistanis; 1,313 Vietnamese; 800 Chinese; 765 Nepalese and 1,215 other nationalities.

Khairul Dzaimee said the Immigration authorities strive hard to ensure that the problem of illegal immigrants is addressed and various measures and operations are implemented to ensure that Malaysia is rid of the problem.

A total of 12,448 operations were conducted nationwide between Jan 1 and Sept 10 and up to 146,777 foreigners were checked and 36,684 of them were detained as illegal immigrants, he said. A total of 922 employers were also detained during that period for having employed or given shelter to illegal immigrants.

During the period, some 3,399 UNHCR cardholders were also checked, he said.

He said the operations revealed that many Chinese nationals entered the country as tourists on a social visit pass valid for 30 days and some among them misused the pass by working at entertainment outlets.

“As for Nigerians and other Africans, many of them enter the country as students. They attend classes in the first and second semesters after which they skip going to college. When they fail in their examinations, they are unable to renew their student pass and stay on illegally and resort to committing crimes such as the love scam.

“We have arrested many of them in our operations. We don’t have the numbers. We come across them during our operations,” he said.

Khairul Dzaimee said it is difficult for the department to trace those who overstay, but a new Immigration Integrated System is being developed that can trace those who enter the country as tourists and overstay.

As for the foreigners who conduct business, including in the wholesale markets, he said this has to do largely with the people’s perception. When the authorities take action by way of operations, it is found that these foreigners have a valid permit.

“When some people see foreigners conducting business, they jump to the conclusion that they are illegal immigrants and that no action is being taken against them. However, when we check, we find out that they are married to locals.

“Many are married to locals. They can do business by using a licence in the name of the husband or wife who is a local. InsyaAllah (God willing), I will do my best to address the issue of illegal immigrants in this country,” he said. – Bernama