The Malaysian Government has opened an opportunity for illegal migrants to register themselves under the amnesty program for illegal workers (6P Program) in order to be entitled to become legal workers or to travel back home. At the moment the 6P Program has proceeded to Step 2, work permit application, which has begun on 10 October 2011. Employers would have to submit the application form to hire foreign workers to the One Stop Centre, Ministry of Interior of Malaysia, in Putrajaya. However the government will consider issuing work permits only for workers in 5 sectors, namely, industrial, construction, cultivation, agriculture, and service.
On 28 December 2011, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Interior of Malaysia stated that the Malaysian Government has approved to relax the policy and conditions on work permit applications under the 6P Program which would be effective immediately until 10 January 2012. Ten further sectors in addition to those specified in the policy, i.e. cashier (in casinos), mining / quarrying, mangrove wood, street vendors / canteens / coffee shops / catering services, fast food restaurants (cooking staff only), lawners, newspaper vendors, house cleaners, and car cleaners / car care workers, as well as 11 sub-categories under the service sector, i.e. metal works / antiques / second handed stuffs, cargo controllers, spa / foot masseuses, hotel staff, caddies, laundry staff, hairdressers, goldsmiths, retail and wholesale business, and textile business. Employers would have to submit work permit applications and the government would allow the workers to work at 2 years maximum.
For smooth and convenient proceedings, the Ministry of Interior of Malaysia has opened more 6 one stop centers, in addition to the One Stop Centre at the Immigration Bureau in Putrajaya, i.e. (1) at the Immigration Bureau, Seita Tropika, Johor; (2) at the Immigration Bureau, Seberang Jaya, Penang; (3) at the Deawan Balora Perdana, Jabatan Pendaftaran Negara: JPN (the National Registration Office), Presint 2, Putrajaya; (4) the Immigration Bureau of Malaysia (Passport Section), Presint 15, Putrajaya; (5) the Office of the Ministry of Interior of Malaysia, Jalan Duta branch, Kuala Lumpur; and (6) the Immigration Bureau, Pelabuhan Kelang branch. These one stop centers are open everyday 24 hours from 30 December 2011 to 10 January 2012.
However, although the Malaysian Government has indicated that the employers are to be responsible for costs in applying to hire foreign workers, the Office of Labour Affairs in Malaysia has been informed by a number of Thai spa masseuses who have registered in the program and are waiting for their employers to submit the applications that the employers would normally push such costs down to the workers. This is done by deducting a certain amount of money out of their wage every month and in some cases the employers even demand much higher rate of money than the government rate. Many workers have therefore decided to not request the employers to apply for their work permit and instead to go back home. The Office of Labour Affairs in Malaysia provides accurate information regarding costs and operational procedure of the 6P Program to Thai workers wishing to work in Malaysia so that they can make an informed decision.
Procedure of Work Permit Application under the Amnesty Program (6P Program)