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Labour Office in Malaysia warns Thais before coming to Malaysia

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            The Malaysian government has relaxed the policies and conditions regarding work permit application. This process is part of the second step of the amnesty program for illegal foreign workers (6P Program). Subsequently certain jobs which were not open for consideration in the past have become available, including spa masseuse. Employers may submit work permit applications for their foreign employees from now until 10 January 2012.


            The Malaysian government has now extended the period for work permit application submission for foreign workers who were registered under the 6P Program in August 2011. The extension is mainly due to requests from employers since a large number of employers have failed to submit work permit application in time. However the next step i.e. verification and law enforcement processes will be immediately effective after 10 January 2012. The Malaysian government would strictly enforce the law on illegal workers not registered under the amnesty program and whoever living in the country illegally.


            On 13 January 2012, the Office of Labour Affairs in Malaysia was informed by Thai workers in Malacca that 14 Thai spa masseuses were arrested by the Malaysian immigration office while on duty in a department store in Malacca. The assistant director of the Malaccan Immigration Office stated in a press release that these Thai workers were arrested on the charge of not having a work permit, all of them had entered the country and worked under a tourist visa which is abuse of use and also a violation under the Immigration Act 1963, Section 39(b), subject to a maximum fine of Ringgit 1,000 or a maximum imprisonment of 6 months or both imprisonment and fine. The business owner who hires illegal workers is also subject to Section 55B with a minimum fine of Ringgit 10,000 but not exceeding Ringgit 50,000 or 12 months imprisonment. At present 14 Thai workers are held in custody at the Machap Umboo facility in Malacca in waiting for their trial. The Office of Labour Affairs in Malaysia was also informed by Thai workers in Perak that 5 Thai spa masseuses were also arrested on the same charge of not having a work permit and not registered under the amnesty program. It is certain that the verification and law enforcement will be carried out strictly.


             The Office of Labour Affairs in Malaysia therefore likes to warn any Thai workers who wish to come and work in Malaysia, since it is believed that there are a number of Thais waiting at the border to cross the country and work illegally in Malaysia, that the Malaysian government takes this matter very seriously and the verification and arrest will be carried out on illegal foreign workers who work with no work permit or use a wrong type of visa and have not been registered under the 6P Program. Do not easily believe those who persuade them to come to work here and refrain from entering Malaysia at this time. If anyone really wishes to come to work, they should register their intention at the provincial employment office and wait until the 6P Program has been concluded and normal policies resume operation. The Office of Labour Affairs in Malaysia is ready to further coordinate with relevant authorities.


             Should you have any inquiry, please contact the Office of Labour Affairs in Malaysia at 03-21455868/21456004.