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Dept To Seize Bosses’ Assets

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SEPANG: Employers in the industrial sector who hire illegal foreign workers will risk having their assets and bank accounts frozen from next month.

Immigration Department director-general Datuk Seri Mustafar Ali warned them about a provision under Section 56(1) of the Immigration Act to freeze their assets although this had not been fully enforced yet.

“It’s not a new thing. We don’t want the public to get shocked when we finally take this measure come October.

“We hope the media can relay the message to the public so that we can create awareness, as well as inform employers of the consequences they face when they protect their illegal foreign workers,” he said yesterday.

Mustafar said the department had discussed the matter with legal advisers.

“The department is giving emplo­yers until the end of this month to sort their workers’ travel documents, visas and permits,” he said.

On a separate matter, Mustafar said the department would consult with the National Higher Education Fund Corporation, Inland Revenue Board and Malaysian Insolvency Department to help solve the issue of blacklisted Malaysian travellers.

“We would like to suggest to these agencies to come up with a 24-hour help desk at the airport so that they are accessible to the public at all times.

“Although the Immigration Department is reachable at all times, the department is only a gatekeeper and all orders must come from the relevant agencies,” he said.

On problems of Malaysian passports found not readable by computer systems at airports here and overseas, Mustafar said the matter had been brought up with the vendor.

“We have suggested that the vendor place its officers at the gates so that they can immediately troubleshoot if a problem occurs.

“Not all Malaysian passports cannot be read, it only affects the newly-issued ones as some chips were defective. However, as informed by the vendor, only 0.24% were unreadable,” he said.

In June, it was reported that some 3,000 Malaysians had their travel plans disrupted when security chips in their passports were found to be defective.

It was also reported that travellers found themselves in a predicament at exit points while others were held up upon landing at airports abroad.

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