KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 18 — The Home Ministry has held discussions with agencies and related quarters on amending the Immigration Act 1959/63 to provide for heavier punishment against illegal immigrants.
Deputy Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ismail Mohamed Said said the discussion, held on September 24 to 26, were specifically on legal strategies and enforcement policies outlined in the Holistic Plan on Enforcement Against Illegal Immigrants.
“The outcome of the discussion will be studied for the formulation of a regulation and law to strengthen and tighten the existing punishment for illegal immigrants and employers involved,” he said during the question and answer session in the Dewan Rakyat, today.
He was responding to a question from Kemaman MP Che Alias Hamid who wanted to know the main aspects that will be given attention to in the formulation of legal strategies and policy by the Home Ministry in the Holistic Plan for Enforcement Against illegal Immigrants.
Ismail said the legal strategies and policy strategies were among the five strategies in the plan that would be implemented over a five-year period.
The other four are on security control at the border and exit into the country, foreign workers’ management, enforcement operation, as well as media and publicity.
He said the objective of the plan is to create an uncomfortable ecosystem for illegal immigrants to continue with their daily lives by empowering existing enforcement and regulatory agencies, including increasing strategic cooperation and awareness among the local community.
As such, the Home Ministry, through the Immigration Department and in collaboration with other enforcement agencies, especially the police and MMEA (Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency) will continue to carry out enforcement operations in locations identified as the hotspots for foreign nationals, he added.
He was responding to a question from Che Alias on the progress of the Holistic Plan on Enforcement Against Illegal Immigrants to address the influx of illegal immigrants into the country.