Malaysia: Overstaying workers cannot have permanent residence

Over 200,000 foreign workers overstaying for up to 30 years in Malaysia have applied for permanent residence status and citizenship for which they are not qualified. “One does not acquire any right to permanent residence or citizenship just by working in the country. A guest worker in this country is a guest worker,” Home Affairs Minister Syed Hamid Albar said. He said the Malaysian laws permitted unskilled workers to work for a maximum of five years while skilled workers could work for 10 years, The Star newspaper reported.

Unlike some countries, Malaysia did not offer permanent residence or citizenship to people even though they have invested millions of ringgit in the country, he said.

There are now some 1.2 million foreign workers in Malaysia from South Asia and Southeast Asian. Albar, a former foreign minister who took over the home portfolio this month, said his priority would be to tackle the issue of illegal foreign workers including those who overstayed.

Another problem on the priority list is the visa-on-arrival facility that saw about 60,000 tourists overstaying since the system was introduced last year.

Yet another problem to be “revisited” is the licences issued to some 300 outsourcing companies to bring in foreign workers.

Albar said the way the licences were used led to numerous cases of foreigners being stranded in the country without jobs and proper accommodation despite having paid agency fees.

Malaysia has thousands of skilled and unskilled workers and IT experts from India and an estimated 130,000 workers from Bangladesh. India IT workers were treated harshly last year while Bangladesh workers brought in by recruiting agencies have been stranded.  An angry demonstration by stranded workers and death of one of them last year caused Malaysia to freeze any further intake. The Malaysian immigration department has warned that if the Bangladesh high commission did not resolve the problem of stranded unemployed Bangladeshis living in the city’s open spaces soon, they will be rounded up and deported.

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1 Response to “Malaysia: Overstaying workers cannot have permanent residence”


  1. 1 Pankaj Sharma December 29, 2008 at 8:07 am

    Dear Sir,

    We feel immense pleasure to introduce ourselves as one of the leading immigration and educational consultancy enterprise in India. We have been sending students to various parts across the official representatives of numerous colleges and universities. Since we are in this business for a long time and having a good strength of students willing to pursue education in country like yours.
    We are looking forward for expansion of our business and business association on profit sharing bases which remain long lasting. You are there for called upon to send us the details of prospects of course being conducted to you.

    Thanking u and assuring you best cooperation always.


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