Scam agents in Malaysia leave foreign workers in the lurch

Scam agents in Malaysia leave foreign workers in the lurch

KUALA LUMPUR - Hundreds of thousands of foreign workers from Indonesia, Pakistan and Myanmar, and a few from the Philppines, are believed to have been cheated by "agents" here who promised them legal work permits under 6P amnesty programme.

Indonesian Community Association in Malaysia (Permai) vice-chairman Dewi Kholifah has received thousands of reports from Indonesian workers who were charged up to RM6,000 (S$2,352) each by agencies which claimed that they were registered with the Home Ministry.

"Some of the agents had even shown a letter from the Home Ministry to these Indonesian workers, which stated that they are registered with the ministry to help in running the 6P programme," she said.

Responding to such claims, Immigration department director (foreign workers division) Datuk Haniff Omar said the foreigners' employers should lodge police reports since they had brought the workers in and were responsible for their documentation. However, Haniff admitted that the use of management companies under the 6P programme had given unregistered agents the opportunity to deceive these foreigners.

"Employers who claimed that they were cheated by agents under the 6P programme last year can now register their workers under the Special Programme for Managing Illegal Immigrants (PKPP)," he said, adding that it was compulsory for the employers to provide a police reportbefore Sept 10.

"The reason we give the employers a certain period of time is because the 6P programme ended a long time ago (December 2012) and as it involved a huge transaction of money, we would expect employers to lodge a police report earlier," he said.

"If it is true that they were cheated, why only make a police report now?

"Why had they acted only after we made it compulsory to have a police report?" Haniff asked.

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