KOTA KINABALU August 26, 2011: Illegal immigrants who have registered themselves and their families during the amnesty programme are required to leave the country voluntarily.
Sabah Immigration Department director Mohammad Mentek said in the second stage of the 5P programme, which is Pengampunan (Forgiveness), illegal immigrants are required to leave the country before October 11 or face legal action.
“After the registration period, which ended on August 10, illegal immigrants who have registered themselves and their families must return to their respective countries to get the proper travel documents before they are allowed to enter Malaysia.
“We are giving them two months, from August 11 till October 10, to leave the country voluntarily.
“Failure to do so, action will be taken against them,” he told a press conference at the Immigration Department office at the State Federal Administration Complex here yesterday.
The 5P programme consists of Pendaftaran (Registration), Pengampunan (Forgiveness), Pemantauan (Monitoring), Penguatkuasaan (Enforcement) and Pengusiran (Expulsion).
The first stage of the 5P programme, Pendaftaran (Registration) from July 18 to August 10, saw 161,370 illegal immigrants being registered at nine locations throughout the state.
They comprised 115,046 Indonesians, Filipinos (45,894), and others (430).
Mohammad said the second stage, ‘Pengampunan’, is only for those illegal immigrants who have been registered.
“Operation to flush out illegal immigrants will be carried out during this period by enforcement agencies and we will only detain those who have not been registered,” he said.
Asked how many illegal immigrants, who had registered, had returned to their respective countries, Mohammad said only 10 percent of the total had gone home.
“Many have still not left the country. So we hope employers could arrange for their foreign employees to go home before October 10,” he said, adding that legal action could also be taken against employers for harbouring illegal immigrants under Section 56 (1) (d) of the Immigration Act 1959.
Meanwhile, Mohammad said the Immigration Department would start registering legal workers, at farm lands and estates, by end of October this year.
This, he said, is for the department to have the actual figures of legal workers in the country.
At the moment, there are about 237,000 legal workers being registered by the Immigration Department, he said.
"They would be charged under Section 56(1)(d) of the Immigration Act 1959/63 which carries a fine of between RM10,000 and RM50,000 for each illegal.
"And if there are more than five illegals involved, then the employer is liable to a jail term of between six months and five years, and whipping, upon conviction,"
"Based on the 2010 Census Population, there were about 800,000 non-Malaysians living in the State. About 600,000 of them included legal workers, expatriates and foreigners who married locals here while the remaining 200,000 are illegal workers.
"But our registration exercise has listed 161,370 illegals in 24 days while the remaining ones might have returned home and could not be involved in the exercise.
"Nonetheless, we are happy with such figure (161,370) that signed up for the exercise,"
"Maybe my Ministry has received information on the matter because I have just returned from Turkey. Nonetheless, I will pursue it as soon as possible," said Anifah
Daily Express quoted recently a Philippine Embassy official as saying that it had yet to receive an official request to go over to Sabah to issue travel documents to its citizens.