Thursday, February 15, 2007

Foreign Workers' Bill Goes To Parliament Next Month - Radzi

PUTRAJAYA, Feb 13 (Bernama) -- The Foreign Workers' Bill will be tabled in Parliament next month, paving the way for the Home Ministry to control and manage 1.9 million foreign workers in the country.

Home Minister Datuk Seri Radzi Sheikh Ahmad said drafting of the Bill was at the final stage.

"The Bill will allow the ministry to control foreign workers from the day they enter the country to the day they leave," he told reporters after his ministry's monthly assembly at the Immigration Department headquarters here.

Currently, hiring of foreign workers, including housemaids, comes under the Human Resources Ministry's purview although the work permits are issued by the Home Ministry.

The "Malaysia My Second Home" programme came under the Tourism Ministry but there had been cases of foreigners who registered under the programme were not actually retirees but foreign workers, he said.

Radzi said his ministry hoped to manage foreign workers from the issuance of permits, levy and insurance to taking care of their induction courses, training and welfare.

However, the labour courts would remain under the Human Resources Ministry to address foreign workers' woes, he said.

"The Human Resources Ministry does not have the resources, while we have the capabilities to monitor the two million foreign workers," he added.

Radzi also said that the volunteer reserve corps (Rela) aimed to detain some 40,000 illegal immigrants this year compared to 25,000 last year.

"We want to put fear in them," he said.

Radzi said the newly established seven special courts at the illegal immigrants' detention centres cleared some 2,000 cases last month, thus helping to ease overcrowding at these centres.


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