Valley

M’sia decreases penalty for illegal migrant workers

- Post Report, KATHMANDU

Mar 18, 2015-

Nepali migrants working without legal status in Malaysia can now return home paying RM 1,250 in fine as the Malaysian government decreased the penalty amount for the second time in a year.

Some 20,000 Nepali migrant workers are languishing in the country due to their illegal status, while a similar number of workers have returned home or are in the process of returning after the government there intensified crackdown on illegal migrant workers in early 2014.

Many illegal workers, who require exit visa to leave the country, do not even possess  legal documents, including passport.

“Migrant workers staying illegally in Malaysia can return home paying only RM 1,250 under new amnesty scheme. It will cover entire expense, including fine and air ticket,” the Nepali Embassy in Kuala Lumpur said in a recent statement. The new scheme, which came into effect from the end of February, attempts to attract more migrants to opt for amnesty.

In September, 2013, Malaysia had decided to charge illegal workers up to of 3,100 ringgit (NRs 97,500). The penalty was categorised into four segments depending on the length of overstay. The scheme required workers overstaying less than 30 days to pay just RM 400.

Koperasi Imigresen Malaysia Berhard, an agent authorised to facilitate the amnesty process, had reduced the fine to RM 1,340 in August, 2014, as well.

The agent has also been providing service at the embassy whereas the embassy has also deployed mobile missions to carry out the task.

Embassy officials said many illegal workers have not been able to utilise

the scheme out of ignorance or due to restriction of employer or even due to greed of earning more. Many workers run away from their original owner to

earn more, while many are deceived with false promise.

“Many workers have been duped by local non-resident Nepalis and local self-styled agents.

They were found to have taken money from hundreds of workers promising exist visa,” an embassy official said. Sources, however, said such fraudsters are overriding the embassy’s work and collecting money from migrant workers in coordination with embassy staffers.

Published: 18-03-2015 08:46

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