Sunday, June 7, 2009

Foreign-worker levy in Sabah to be halved

The Home Ministry will reduce the foreign-worker levy in Sabah by 50 per cent from July 1 to Oct 31, said its minister, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein.

He said the ministry would also give a second chance to employers in the state to register foreign workers who had been working illegally.

"I hope the employers will take advantage of the opportunities. We understand their problems and they should reciprocate in solving the illegal immigrant problems," he said in a statement today.

He said an integrated operation would be carried out to weed out illegal immigrants after the deadline.

"This will enable the authorities to have their data and trace them. Until May 15, the Immigration Department had issued work permits to 20 per cent or 48,477 foreign workers through their respective embassies while the status of 240,260 more workers is still unknown," he said.

He said the ministry would propose to the Cabinet to merge the Cabinet Committee on Illegal Immigrants and the Cabinet Committee on Foreign Workers as their functions overlapped.

On operations against illegal immigrants in Sabah between August and Oct last year, he said 312,837 foreign workers had been registered.