State immigration department director Musa Sulaiman said in the report that illegals would have a chance to obtain valid work permits to overcome worker shortage in permitted sectors under this rehiring programme.
On a bigger scale, he also noted that the programme would allow the government to know the actual number of illegals in the country for purposes of monitoring to boost national security.
He commented: “The Rehiring Programme will be carried out carefully and in a controlled manner to prevent cheating by irresponsible individuals seeking to profit from the illegals.” He added: "The state government is imposing tight conditions on the illegals and employers taking part in the programme.".
The conditions which the illegals must comply with included having a record of orderly entry into Malaysia; namely, those who overstayed on temporary employment passes (TEP) and still working for the same employers.
Other eligible application included illegals who had overstayed on TEP and are working with new employers, as well as illegals who had overstayed on social visit passes and had employers, and did not have criminal records.
However, the programme catered only to Indonesian and Philippine nationals in the agriculture, plantation, construction, manufacturing and service sectors.
“This programme only involves Indonesian and Philippine nationals and the state government has appointed Syarikat Inti Padu Tecknology to implement the registration of illegals in Sabah,” Sulaiman concluded.
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