Immigration Dept urges public to be their ‘eyes and ears’ to flush out illegal workers

Ken (right) observing the cutting and preparation of the sacrificial meat upon his arrival at the event.

KUCHING, August 22: Sarawak Immigration Department encourages the public to be their whistleblowers in order to help curb the influx of illegal foreigners, most of whom abused their social visit passes by working in the state.

So far this year, the department has detained 1,112 foreigners for offences such as abuse of social visit passes, expired passes or not having entry passes at all. Some have work passes but the addresses or sectors they were working in differed from those stated in the work passes.

Its director, Ken Leben, explained that to seek employment, a foreign worker needed to have an immigration work pass and a labour permit.

“There is a committee that screens workers coming into Sarawak. Foreigners caught abusing their social visit passes to work are usually isolated cases, but we will continue to monitor them,” he told reporters at a ‘Korban’ event at Surau Al-Hamra of the Petra Jaya Fire and Rescue Department (Bomba) here today.

Immigration and Bomba volunteers cutting the sacrificial meat to be distributed to the local community.

Ken added that there had been cases where potential employers first “test” foreigners who entered the state with social passes before deciding later whether to apply for work permits for them.

Meanwhile, the state Immigration Department and Bomba provided seven cows and four goats for the Aidiladha celebration. About 250 personnel from both agencies participated in the programme.

The sacrificial meat is meant for the students of Tahfiz Al Makki Lit Tafaqquh Fiddin (in Kampung Semariang Pinggir), underprivileged folk, families from the surrounding areas as well as officers and personnel from both agencies.

“This is the second year running that we organised this event with Bomba to strengthen ties between the two departments and the local community.

“We want to be close to the public and be seen as people-centric agencies that render quality service and CSR (corporate social responsibility) programmes,” said Ken. — DayakDaily