Few colleges report to Immigration when foreign students go missing

PUTRAJAYA, 30 June 2017:

Only a handful of institutions of higher learning (IPT) lodge reports when foreign students at their colleges did not attend class over a long period of time, says Immigration director-general Datuk Seri Mustafar Ali.

Commenting on calls by several parties to ensure entry of foreign students at IPT – especially private institutions – be tightened following issues of drugs, he said IPT should report to the Higher Education Ministry (KPT) when foreign students disappeared to facilitate monitoring by the Immigration Department.

“The Immigration Department has always work with KPT to monitor the wherebouts of students to ensure they are here to study.

“However, IPT should also lodge report to KPT to facilitate in our monitoring.”

Asked if IPT could face action for failing to report, he said the matter was up to KPT as the body regulating IPT in the country.

Two days ago, Bukit Aman Narcotics CID director Datuk Seri Mohd Mokhtar Mohd Shariff said Nigerian nationals comprised the largest number of people arrested for drug cases and many entered the country using student pass.

Based on arrest statistics for 2015, 2016 and this year, he said 358 foreign students were arrested for possession and trafficking of drugs.

Following that, several parties have called for more stringent checks on IPT especially private colleges which recruited many foreign students.

Meanwhile, Mustafar expressed his disappointment that only 25% of the targeted 600,000 illegal immigrants registered for the Enforcement Card or E-Card.

He said that as of 7.50pm last night, 154,328 illegals involving 26,738 employers had applied and 138,970 E-cards were issued.

“Tomorrow (Friday) is the last day for the E-Card application and so far, the number is way below the original target of 600,000 illegals.

“I am disappointed that employers hiring illegals do not take this opportunity to legalise their employees.”

He once again warned the illegals who failed to register until 12 midnight today (Friday)  that the Immigration Department would conduct massive operations beginning July 1 to detain and expel them from the country.

Mustafar was also disappointed when the employers of the illegals chose to appear at the last minute – causing the Immigration Department to open the counters until 3am, considering that the registration drive had been implemented since February.

“Today alone, between 3,000 and 4,000 people turned up for the registration and previously the daily average number of arrivals is only between 800 and 1,000 people.”

In addition, he said there were individuals who provoked Immigration officers when they had to wait a bit longer to complete the registration process.

“It’s their own choice to come at the last minute. We do serve them until 3am and try to provide the best service.”

In the meantime, a Bernama survey at the Immigration Department headquarters here found employers and illegals had been waiting since 3am to register before the final registration deadline today.

An employer Anni Morani Musthafa, 47, who arrived at 5am, conceded her mistake for turning up at the last minute to register three of her workers from Nepal.

Anni, who operated the hotel’s cleaning service in the federal capital, however, praised the Immigration Department’s efforts to extend the opening hours until 3am to enable employers and employees to register.

Another employer, Zaidi Osman, 45, who arrived with his four Indonesian employees from Negeri Sembilan at 8am, said he was at the counter at the last minute to register his workers as they took their time to decide to do so.

“They have been deceived by their agents before and lost their money so they are afraid to register.”

The E-Cards, issued for free, aimed at registering and allowing illegal immigrants to obtain work permits after going through some procedures set by the Home Ministry.

– Bernama

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