Liow: No extension for E-Card registration deadline

PUTRAJAYA: The Cabinet is sticking to its decision of not extending the E-Card registration deadline for foreign workers.
The decision comes despite pleas from employers who wanted more time to register their undocumented workers.
Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai told reporters after the weekly Cabinet meeting yesterday that the Government would stand firm on its decision as the employers had been given ample time.
“All illegal workers who are caught will be deported and blacklisted.
“Companies that want to employ foreign workers must hire new ones and do so legally,” he added.
Liow, who is also MCA president, said the Home Ministry would come up with a mechanism to resolve manpower shortage.
The E-Card system was launched on Feb 15 as a temporary confirmation of employment for illegal workers.
The document replaces valid travel documents from the workers’ respective countries.
The E-Card is valid until Feb 15 next year. This gives employers ample time to complete the process of registering all of their illegal workers.
The deadline for the E-Card registration expired on June 30.
The next day, the Immigration Department conducted raids at various locations to weed out foreign workers who did not have valid documents.
The department targeted 600,000 workers to register for the E-Card but of that number, only 23% registered.
Immigration director-general Datuk Seri Mustafar Ali said they were expediting investigation and repatriation of the illegal immigrants detained.
“We’re working fast,” he said, adding that the department was currently holding a total of 11,000 detainees.
“What really helps speed things up is when embassies assist us in our administrative work to repatriate their nationals.
“This process should be done in less than two months,” Mustafar said following an operation to trace illegal immigrants in Seri Kembang­an and Klang early yesterday morning.
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