515 Bangladeshis arrested in Malaysia
Among the detainees, 515 were Bangladeshi nationals, he said. Another 135 were from Indonesia, 102 from Myanmar, 50 from the Philippines, five from Thailand and two from Vietnam.
Malaysia also detained 101 women and three children.
The detainees did not have the necessary enforcement card (e-card) or permits for temporary residence, authorities said.
Sixteen employers were held for hiring and harbouring illegals, Ali said, according to The Star.
The detainees have given a number of explanations for their inability to obtain the e-cards necessary to extend their stay. Some said they were not aware of the deadline. Others say their employers had assured them they would receive an extension on the deadline.
Malaysia’s immigration department has accepted applications for e-cards for the past four months. The deadline ended on Jun 30.
During this time 26,957 companies applied for e-cards for 155,650 workers from 15 countries.
The majority of applicants were Bangladeshis -- 71,903. Indonesian nationals came second with 26,764 and 11,825 were from Myanmar.
According to Bangladesh High Commission’s Labour Counsellor Sayedul Islam, the e-card grants permission to stay until Feb 15 next year.
This means that those without a valid passport or permission to work may stay and work in Malaysia until Feb 14.
It is possible for foreign nationals with e-cards to obtain passports and travel documents from their embassies for a new work permit within that time.
Malaysian authorities have warned that those who stay past the deadline will be deported.
According to the Sun Daily, over 600,000 illegal immigrants live in Malaysia and only 23 percent of them have received e-cards.