Malaysia claims influx of illegal workers but none found

April 24th, 2008 - 4:25 pm ICT by admin  


Kuala Lumpur, April 24 (IANS) Despite Malaysian claims that an influx of illegal immigrants was causing a job shortage for locals, an ethnic Indian minister who conducted a surprise check at tourist destinations here found no foreign worker, even the legitimate ones. Deputy Federal Territories Minister M. Saravanan visited the tourist spots Wednesday at the peak hour of 6 p.m. along with two lawmakers who had complained that parts of the city had been converted into “Bangladeshi towns”, the Star newspaper said Thursday.

After the raid, Saravanan said: “I didn’t see any illegal traders, I don’t even know what’s illegal here. We’re very concerned, but so far it looks all right.”

However, 86 illegal immigrants were nabbed during a separate midnight operation in Parit Jawa and Kuala Lumpur. Also, 64 Indonesians and 22 Bangladeshis were detained at factories and workers’ hostels.

Malaysian authorities have said there are over three million foreign workers, both legal and illegal, in the country and that this was reducing employment opportunities for locals.

Home Minister Syed Hamid Albar has said the government will gradually remove foreign workers from places frequented by tourists to give the industry “a Malaysian face”.

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