PETALING JAYA: The Home Ministry is currently investigating some of the 14 immigration state branches which have issued e-Kad to illegal foreign workers who have not gone through the Rehiring Programme.
Its deputy minister Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed said it was wrong to issue the cards — that allows them to be identified to the authorities — unless the employee undergoes the programme.
\"This is wrong, (and) those who have obtained their e-Kad through this manner, return it. If they\'re caught either by the immigration or the police, their e-Kad is invalid unless they have gone through the programme,\" he told reporters here after visiting Western Digital (M) Sdn Bhd with some officers from the ministry and the Malaysian Investment Development Authority.
When asked if there may have been confusion when issuing the e-Kad, he said: \"The instructions from KDN (home ministry) are very clear — e-Kad is a subset of the Rehiring Programme and cannot be issued without going through it.\"
On how the E-Kad had been obtained by the illegal workers, he said: \"The Rehiring Programme is done at the Immigration offices. When an illegal foreign worker comes with their employer, they (the employer) will have to pay some charges, including a levy to the government and then, an e-Kad will be issued to the employee.
\"But, it\'s been identified that some immigration branches have issued the e-Kad without going through the programme,\" he said.
He declined to state how many e-Kad have been issued when pressed further.
On a separate note, he urged that all applications for foreign workers be done through online systems available on two portals — ePPax, a centralised foreign worker management system, and sppa, which is meant for hiring employees from Bangladesh only.
This is because the ePPax system is used generally, or business-to-business, while sppa is a government-to-government (between Malaysia and Bangladesh) initiative.
\"I hope that employers will not be confused on the matter as we have conducted engagements through the media and employers\' association,\" he said.
The ePPax website is www.eppax.gov.my and sppa\'s is portal.sppa.com.my.
\"When an employer enters his application in the portals, it does not mean they will get a worker\'s permit immediately. There is a second procedure to call the applicants for them to prove through an interview that they do need the (foreign) employees. We, at the Home Ministry, also want to make sure the application is legitimate.
\"Upon confirmation of the application, the approval letter and sticker for foreign workers will be issued,\" he added.