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Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Developer welcomes Immigration Dept inspecting Forest City

Country Garden Pacificview Sdn Bhd (CGPV) has no problem with Immigration Department inspecting its development project Forest City, which is reportedly hiring illegal migrant workers from China.
"Should the Immigration Department intend to inspect us, we shall welcome them most warmly," CGPV told Malaysiakini.
The developer was responding to the government's plan to raid Forest City, a 20-year man-made islands high end development project, and look into the possibility of legalising them, particularly under the Rehiring Programme of the Home Affairs Ministry.
Malaysiakini reported that hundreds of illegal migrant workers from China have been forced to return home after finding out that they might not receive payment from the sub-contractors of the Forest City project. These workers originally arrived in Malaysia under tourist visas.
They claimed to be cheated by agents in China who charged charged them 10,000 yuan (RM6,288) to 24,000 yuan (RM15,092) to secure them "lucrative jobs" in Johor.
Some decided to stay and worked illegally, were owed up to six months' salaries and had survived on a monthly RM300 allowance.
Immigration Department director-general Mustafar Ali said his department was looking at the matter from two angles: abuse of permits under immigration law, and the possibility of trafficking in persons or smuggling of migrant workers, as stated in the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act 2007.
Deputy Home Minister Nur Jazlan Mohamed (photo) told Malaysiakini that his ministry would consider legalising these immigrant workers.
"We will consider their eligibility to be registered under the rehiring programme. We will instruct the enforcement section of the Immigration Department to investigate the role of the developer and the contractors of the project," he said.
Nur Jazlan explained that although China is not an official source of labour for Malaysia, some Chinese workers had been given special approval upon request from Chinese investors or contractors. These workers, he added, were expected to go home after their contracts expired.
CGPV felt that the rehiring programme is a possible solution for its subcontractors. It said,"The rehiring programme will be the first priority, but if it is not feasible, they will be sent back to their countries of origin."
The Home Ministry's rehiring programme, which was begun on Feb 15, 2016, is to allow illegal workers in Peninsular Malaysia to apply for work permits to meet the job demands in a few key sectors, mainly construction, plantation, services, manufacturing, and agriculture.
This is also to enable the government to determine the actual number of illegal foreign workers in the country for the purposes of monitoring and security.
According to a parliamentary reply, a total 265,208 illegal migrants registered under rehiring programme while 61,412 employers participated the programme as of January 20, 2017.
195,917 illegal migrant workers nabbed
Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said a total 195,917 illegal migrant workers were nabbed in enforcement raids from 2013 to 2017. Under the 3+1 programme, he said, a total of 180,228 illegal migrant workers surrendered and have been deported since the programme started on July 22, 2016, until 2016.
This news portal had previously asked the developer how it could ensure its sub-contractors paid the workers their salaries. CGPV replied on May 4 that it would not tolerate the mismanagement of workers.
Elaborating further yesterday, CGPV said: "The sub-contractors will be given warnings and if the present situation persists after one month, we will not hesitate in taking stern action against them.

"We emphasise that we are in no way connected with the illegal agents and strongly urge the aggrieved workers to make police reports on this crucial matter. We do not tolerate mismanagement of workers and our name being tarnished."
CGPV is 66 percent owned by Country Garden Holdings through its Malaysian registered subsidiaries Country Garden Waterfront Sdn Bhd, Country Garden Danga Bay Sdn Bhd and Country Garden Real Estate Sdn Bhd.

The state government's, or more specifically KPRJ’s share of the project, is purportedly channelled through Esplanade Danga 88 Sdn Bhd, which holds a 34 percent stake in CGPV.
The largest shareholder of Esplanade Danga 88 Sdn Bhd, with a controlling stake of 64.4 percent, is Johor ruler Sultan Ibrahim Ismail Sultan Iskandar.
According to a written reply given at the last meeting of Parliament, the Immigration Department had issued 13,441 social visit (temporary employment) passes to Chinese migrant workers in 2016.- Mkini

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