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Tuesday, 28 June 2011 22:01

NUSAJAYA: The Government should relook the amnesty programme for illegal foreign workers to prevent abuse.

Johor MCA backbenchers club adviser Datuk Tee Siew Kiong, who represented a group of 10 MCA assemblymen in the state, said there was already cases of workers with documents quitting their current work place to register themselves as illegals.
He said these workers would then hop to other factories or companies offering better salaries or better working environment.

“One electronics factory in Johor that employs about 2,000 workers suddenly lost about 150 workers when the programme was announced,” he said, adding that there were similar complaints from other employers.

Tee said the Home Ministry must provide a safety mechanism to protect employers who had spent a lot of money to bring in workers through the proper channel.

He also urged the relevant departments to cut the red tape in getting foreign workers.

He added that in most cases, the number of workers approved was fewer than the number requested.

“It is important for Johor to have a ready pool of foreign workers as this is one of the most developed states in the country with huge foreign direct investments,” he said, adding that in the last three years, RM26bil has come into the state and some 54,000 jobs had also been created.

In an unrelated development, the state Tourism and Domestic Trade Committee chairman Hoo Seoang Chang said the recent issue involving government servants who were overzealous in carrying out their duties had not affected the state’s tourism industry.

He said except for some isolated cases, government servants had been helpful in the effort to draw tourists, he told Gwee Tong Hiang (DAP-Bentayan) at the state assembly here yesterday.

One of the cases that had drawn much criticism involved two Singaporean woman who were ordered to perform nude squats after they were detained on the Causeway in Johor Baru on June 9