Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Workers did not have ICs (Star)

Workers did not have ICs

PUTRAJAYA: All 114 foreign workers picked up and detained in a recent Rela operation in Rawang did not have their identity cards with them, said Home Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Radzi Sheikh Ahmad.

He said that without the documents, they would be deemed illegal immigrants.

“These cards have been issued to denote the legal status of these workers and to allow Rela members to easily verify their details,” he said after the monthly assembly at his ministry here yesterday.

“In most cases, the cards are kept by the employers.

“I would like to remind employers that they are only supposed to hold the passports of their foreign workers, not the identity cards.

“Not giving their foreign workers their identity cards will only inconvenience them.”

Mohd Radzi said that in the case of the raid in Rawang, all 114 foreigners detained did not have any document on them.

“Now we will wait for their employers to show up with the necessary documents,” he said.

He was commenting on complaints by several companies and factories in Rawang that their foreign workers were rounded up during a Rela operation despite them having the necessary work documents.

They also claimed that their workers were carrying identification cards issued by the Immigration Department.

Rela director-general Datuk Zaidon Asmuni denied allegations by certain parties that his officers had been “harassing” the foreign workers because they were paid RM25 for each person rounded up.

“That’s not true at all. We are a voluntary group and the work we do to help the Immigration Department or the police in their tasks is provided completely free of charge.

“The members are only given drinks before starting each operation and the money comes from the allocation given to Rela to conduct these raids,” he said.

Earlier in his speech, ministry secretary-general Tan Sri Aseh Che Mat said the performance of its related agencies had improved over the years.

“We used to rank number two in terms of complaints received.

“Now, we are number nine. However, we still have a lot to improve on,” he said.

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