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asked on Sep 25, 2009 at 18:57
edited on Nov 21, 2016 at 20:01
Friday September 25, 2009

Non-bankrupt debtors can be barred going overseas!

VIPs blacklisted for not paying study loans

PETALING JAYA: They are known as Yang Berhormat and Yang Berbahagia (YBs) but now some of them have earned the not-so-pleasant status of Yang Berhutang (debtor).

These YBs (the prefix used for elected representatives and those who carry honorary titles like Datuk) are not the only public figures on the list of National Higher Education Fund Corporation loan defaulters.

Professionals and celebrities are also among the 26,000-odd people who owe a whopping RM400mil.

The corporation's chief executive, Yunos Abd Ghani, said the defaulters included those who studied medicine, law and business.

He said the corporation had to resort to barring the defaulters from leaving the country because they had been ignoring repeated reminders to repay their loans for more than five years.

Of the 26,627 names submitted to the Immigration Department since the corporation started recommending the travel restriction in August last year, 4% or 1,018 had settled their loans amounting to more than RM20mil, he said.

"This (overseas travel ban) has been an effective method as they have no other alternative but to settle what they owe," he told The Star.

"We don't apply double standards in implementing the action," he said, adding that borrowers could check if they were barred from travelling overseas via the corporation and Immigration Department websites.

When asked what excuses the borrowers gave for not settling their debts on completion of their studies, Yunos said they often claimed they did not receive the corporation's notices.

"Change of address is a favourite excuse despite their legal obligation to update their latest addresses with the corporation," he said.

Yunos said barring defaulters from going overseas was a last resort.

Since the corporation began operations in 1997, he said it had disbursed RM18bil in loans.

In general, Yunos said that 76% of borrowers start repaying their loans as soon as they finished their studies.
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answered on Aug 20, 2017 at 22:25
edited Jan 18, 2018 at 15:22

Saturday, 19 August 2017 

No extension of Dec 31 deadline for illegals

PUTRAJAYA: There will not be any grace period for the foreign workers’ rehiring and 3-plus-1 program­mes after Dec 31, says Immigration director-general Datuk Seri Mustafar Ali. 

He warned employers and foreign workers not to wait until the last minute to get things one, stressing there would not be any time extension for the programmes. After Dec 31, we will carry out enforcement. Illegals found, as well as employers who are caught harbouring illegals, will be detained. 

This is just like when the E-Card registration programme ended on June 30, we did not extend it despite appeals from employers,” said Mustafar at a press conference after his department’s monthly assembly here. 

Under the rehiring programme, illegal foreign workers who have obtained their E-Cards are able to get themselves legalised. 

As for the 3-plus-1 programme, illegal workers can surrender themselves and escape prosecution by paying a penalty of RM400. After paying the fine, they must buy an air ticket and return to their own countries. They will then be blacklisted from entering Ma­­laysia for up to five years,” said Mustafar. 

During E-Card registration programme, many employers began flocking to Immigration Department offices only during the last few days before the deadline. Despite pleas from employers, the department remained firm that there would be no extension as it felt that the period given to register was sufficient. On another matter, Mustafar said he would be having meetings with the Chief Justice as well as the Attorney-General’s Chambers on imposing a heavier punishment for employers who harbour illegal workers. 

We received plenty of feedback from concerned members of the public, who feel that people who employ illegal workers should be given heavier punishment. However, our department’s role is only to catch these offenders. The punishment that will be meted out is set by the courts.

During our meetings, our department will convey the concerns of the public. We will also be discussing about setting up a special court to deal with illegal immigrant cases, to prevent backlog,” said Mustafar. 

Under Section 55B of the Immigration Act, employers found guilty of harbouring illegals can be jailed between six months and five years, fined between RM10,000 and RM50,000 per illegalemployee, and given six strokes of the rotan. 

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answered on Sep 11, 2017 at 21:04
New rules for entry into Thailand at border from Oct 1

Bernama - September 10, 2017

SONGKHLA: Thailand will enforce new regulations at the entry point of the Malaysia-Thailand border starting Oct 1, says Malaysian Consul-General Mohd Afandi Abu Bakar.

He reminded Malaysians entering Thailand to abide by the new regulations as well as use valid travel documents.

He said, among others, visitors were required to submit an entry form to the Royal Thai Customs Department, declaring details about their vehicle and passengers.

“Drivers who fail to comply will be fined up to four or five times the value of the vehicle, or the vehicle detained, and face a two-year jail sentence,” Afandi told Bernama here today.

He said the consulate had requested the Thai authorities to provide detailed information on the regulations so that they could be uploaded to the foreign ministry’s website.

Commenting further, Afandi said changes to the entry requirements were executed to facilitate and streamline the check-in record of foreigners to Thailand.

He said, from Jan 1 until August, only two cases were reported involving Malaysian-owned vehicles detained by the Thailand authorities for violation of entry rules.

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answered on Sep 17, 2017 at 06:22
edited Sep 17, 2017 at 06:24
by   jeff005
Court enhances jail sentence on Rohingya who harboured migrants

PUTRAJAYA: A Rohingya UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) refugee returns to jail today, as the Court of Appeal enhanced his jail sentence to five years for harbouring 20 Bangladeshi and Myanmar migrants smuggled into the country.

A three-man bench comprising appellate court judges Datuk Abang Iskandar Abang Hashim and Datuk Vernon Ong Lam Kiat, and High Court judge Datuk Suraya Othman increased the jail sentence on 32-year-old Muhammad Yunus from three to five years.

"We agree that the sentence imposed by the High Court on the respondent (Muhammad Yunus) was manifestly inadequate," said Abang Iskandar.

In allowing the prosecution's appeal, he held that its (the prosecution's appeal) had merits and ordered Muhammad Yunus to serve his jail sentence from the date of his arrest on July 2, 2015.

Muhammad Yunus was released from prison on July 2 this year after serving the three-yearjail term. He was subsequently, placed at the Belantik immigration detention depot in Sik, Kedah, pending appeal.

Deputy public prosecutor Anas Bashari submitted that a deterrent sentence should be given for such offence to show that offences involving the country's security and sovereignty should not be taken lightly.

He said the sentence should serve as a lesson to Muhammad Yunus and all those persons including foreign immigrants, involved in similar offences. Muhammad Yunus' counsel, Burhanudeen Abdul Wahid argued that the High Court considered all the facts when sentencing his client to three years' jail. He said Muhammad Yunus was not the main perpetrator.

Muhammad Yunus pleaded guilty at the Alor Setar High Court to harbouring 12 Bangladeshis and eight Myanmar migrants aged between 18 and 54, at Lot 84, Jalan Titi Haji Idris, Kampung Alor Sentap, Pokok Sena, Kedah at 4.44am on July 2, 2015.

According to the facts of the case, a police team raided the house and found some men believed to be Myanmar and Bangladeshi citizens without valid travel documents, in a feeble state.

Investigations revealed the men entered Malaysia through an agent and were promised work. However, upon arrival in Malaysia, they were confined in a house until their family members paid money to the agent to secure their release. — Bernama
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answered on Sep 25, 2017 at 19:26
Singapore: Thumbprint scanning to be extended to car travellers at Tuas, Woodlands checkpoints

25 Sep 2017

SINGAPORE: Thumbprint scanning will soon be extended to all car travellers at the Tuas and Woodlands checkpoints, the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) said on Monday (Sep 25).

The BioScreen system, which captures the thumbprints of those arriving at and departing from Singapore's checkpoints, will be progressively implemented at car counters at the two land checkpoints. This will allow travellers time to become familiar with the new process, ICA said.

Thumbprint scanning will be required for all car travellers aged six and above.

"The driver and passengers will be required to step out of their car and scan both thumbprints when they seek immigration clearance at the car counters," ICA said.

"With the implementation of BioScreen at car counters, travellers may experience slightly longer immigration clearance time," it added.

"Security at our checkpoints is ICA’s top priority. The BioScreen system is an important measure in this regard, as it enables ICA’s verification of travellers’ identities to be more robust," it added.

Launched in April last year, the system has been rolled out to various clearance zones at land checkpoints such as for train and bus travellers, and lorries and goods vehicles.

Full story:
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answered on Sep 27, 2017 at 20:09
Keeping track of lost Malaysian passports to prevent abuse

27 Sep 2017

BEIJING: Every hour, an average of nine Malaysian passports are reported lost in the world.

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said 52,459 passports were lost in the first eight months of this year.

The particulars of these passports, he said, are updated in Interpol’s Stolen and Lost Travel Documents (SLTD) database daily to prevent abuse.

The database, which also contains information related to vehicle theft, stolen art and firearms cases, was shared by all member states of the organisation, he added.

“Currently, the Interpol SLTD database in Lyon, France, has a record of 76 million lost passports worldwide, out of which, 192,402 (0.25%) are Malaysian passports.

“All eight international airports in Malaysia have been equipped with the SLTD system, which can also be accessed at other points of entry, including sea ports,” he said after attending the opening ceremony of the 86th General Assembly of Interpol here yesterday.

Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Moha-mad Fuzi Harun, who was also present, said these passports were lost either due to negligence or stolen.

A Malaysian passport, he said, could easily be sold for RM100,000 in the black market.

On Interpol, Dr Ahmad Zahid said Malay-sian police had cooperated with the world body in areas of social media exploitation, forensics and cybercrime investigations.

“We share information, particularly on issues related to terrorism (via the Interpol’s real-time tracking system),” he said.

Full Story:
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answered on Oct 16, 2017 at 22:15
No such E-Kad programme in Sabah: Immigration Dept

16 October 2017

KOTA KINABALU: The Immigration Department here has confirmed that there is no such thing as an Enforcement Card (E-Kad) for illegal immigrants in Sabah.

Its Strategic Planning and Corporate Communication Division in a statement here today, stressed that it also had not appointed any agent or collaborated with any party to implement the purported E-Kad programme in the state.

In this regard, the public are urged to contact or report directly to the nearest Immigration office, should they be aware of any promotion or activity involving the dubious programme. — Bernama
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answered on Oct 18, 2017 at 23:50
Immigration Dept cripples fake E-Kad syndicate in Sabah

October 18, 2017

PUTRAJAYA: The Immigration Department has crippled a fake E-Kad syndicate in Sabah, run by a 60-year-old man who claimed to be a “Datuk Seri”.

Immigration director-general Mustafar Ali said the 12-hour operation in Kota Kinabalu which began at noon on Monday led to the arrests of 14 people, including three Filipinos, and the seizure of 60 items.

“This ‘Datuk Seri’ hides his activities behind a private company in Kota Kinabalu,” he said in a statement.

Under the syndicate, illegal immigrants were charged between RM1,100 and RM1,200 per card, which supposedly allows them to reside in Sabah as a registered foreign worker.

Mustafar said the registration was done by a company headed by the “Datuk Seri” while the printing and distribution of the cards was done by appointed agents in Kuala Lumpur.

“The Immigration Department reiterates that there is no such E-Kad programme in Sabah. We never appointed any party or individual to implement it,” he added.

Those arrested were taken to the Kota Kinabalu Immigration Detention Depot for further investigation.

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answered on Nov 1, 2017 at 14:24
edited Jan 18, 2018 at 15:37
Employers can apply for foreign maid permits online beginning Jan 1

31 October 2017

SEPANG: From Jan 1 next year, employers can apply for foreign maid permits from the Immigration Department via an online system, according to Immigration Department director-general Datuk Seri Mustafar Ali.

"Applications can be made directly without an agent or mediator, and it is expected to take seven to 16 days (to process)," he told reporters here, today.

He said the direct recruitment of foreign maids from source countries would reduce the cost and burden of employers, whereby employers would only have to pay around RM3,600 to RM3,800, as compared to payments of between RM12,000 to RM18,000 made to agents previously.

" The cost involves fees for levy, visit pass (temporary work), visa and processes set according to the respective countries, as well as flight cost. The online application system can help curb human trafficking activities," he said.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak while tabling Budget 2018 on Friday said the government would now give the option to employers to hire foreign domestic helpers directly from nine source countries, without going through agents.
Najib said employers could also apply visa for their maids from the Immigration Department online, with levy and processing fees charged according to existing rates.

On Saturday, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi stated that direct hiring of maids would save employers up to 50% of the cost.

In the meantime, Mustafar explained that employers could identify individuals in Malaysia who are eligible to work as maids before making an online application and completing the nine processes set by the department.

The nine processes are online registration by employers, login and registration of foreign maids, health screening, document upload, review, approval, decision notification, payment and printing of visit permit (for temporary work) stickers.

"Employers can also go to the source country and look for prospects themselves, then bring them in to Malaysia using a social visit pass before making the application," he said.
Mustafar added that the department would not object if employers still wished to use the services of agents and were willing to bear the high cost involved. — Bernama
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answered on Nov 27, 2017 at 20:22
Kiosks installed at KLIA to enable Malaysians to check blacklist status

Monday, 27 Nov 2017

SEPANG: Malaysians going out of the country will now be able to check their current immigration status before passing through passport control.

Immigration Departement director-general Datuk Seri Mustafar Ali unveiled three new pre-read kiosks at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) on Monday (Nov 27).

The pre-read kiosks, said Mustafar, were installed so that Malaysians travelling through the airport could check their immigration status with ease.

"There are now almost 800,000 Malaysians on the blacklist (which prevents them from leaving the country).

"If any of those blacklisted were to go to the immigration counter (at passport control), for sure, the will be stuck (tersekat) there.

"With these kiosks, we are offering a public service so that they know they about their status before going to passport control, and they can call the respective agencies (which have blacklisted them) to solve their issues," he told the media here.

He said that the kiosks were offered via a public-private partnership with Datasonic who has provided the system for the Immigration Department.

He said that at the moment, 790,186 Malaysians were blacklisted by various agencies, such as the National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) and the Insolvency Department.

He added that the kiosks will also be placed in KLIA2 in the near future.

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answered on Dec 15, 2017 at 17:02
Massive Immigration shake-up at KLIA after smuggling syndicate bust

December 15, 2017

PUTRAJAYA, Dec 15 — Hundreds of Immigration officers have been transferred from the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) duties following the exposure of a smuggling syndicate involving the department's personnel.

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said today that around 600 officers were moved to other Immigration departments outside KLIA as a “proactive” step to maintain the department’s reputation, amidst the dismantling of the syndicate allegedly smuggling in Bangladeshi nationals.

Zahid told a press conference here that about 40 per cent of the department’s 1,500 officers in KLIA were transferred.

He also announced today that two more Immigration officers have been arrested over the smuggling syndicate, in addition to the two arrested earlier.

Three more foreign nationals were also arrested, bringing total arrests to seven people.

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