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Saturday, July 1, 2017

DPM: Not true Malaysia stopped issuing work permits to North Koreans



Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi denied the report that Putrajaya has decided to stop issuing work permits to North Korean labourers.
“There was a report from Japan which said we have stopped issuing (work permits) to North Koreans.
“That report is not true and there have been no instructions (to that effect) which have been issued,” Zahid said during a press conference at his Hari Raya open house in Putrajaya today.
The Japan Times yesterday reported that according to government sources, the Malaysian government had stopped issuing work permits to North Korean labourers.
The report had also claimed that all workers at a North Korean restaurant in Kuala Lumpur had left the country after their work permits expired in May, according to diplomatic sources.
The report comes about four months after the killing of Kim Jong-nam, the estranged brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA).
Before that incident, Malaysia and North Korea had enjoyed friendly bilateral ties.
That quickly changed after Malaysian police implicated several North Koreans in Jong-nam’s killing.
Both countries expelled each other’s ambassadors following a diplomatic row which arose and subsequently imposed exit bans on each other’s nationals as well.
It was previously reported that there were about 1,000 North Korean labourers in Malaysia, who were mainly working in coal mines and construction sites in Sarawak.
Jong-nam (photo) was allegedly assassinated on Feb 13 by two women who smeared the highly deadly VX nerve agent on his face at KLIA2.
On a separate matter, Zahid also reiterated immigration department chief Mustafar Ali’s announcement that the government has stopped issuing enforcement cards, or E-cards, to migrant workers starting last night.
“We were forced to take this harsh action because the immigration department chief has given warnings a few times and I do not think we should do so anymore,” Zahid, who is also the home minister, said.
He said the government will not stop migrant workers from seeking a living here but they must do so legally.

“We do not blame anyone but the employer and employees must take responsibility if they knew they do not have a work visa.
“We have given them enough time,” he said.
The government will also likely not approve any deadline extensions, he added, even if any employer associations were to request for it.
Yesterday, Mustafar had said that starting midnight on Thursday, the immigration authorities will launch a large-scale operation to flush out illegal immigrants in the country as the deadline to register for the E-card had passed. - Mkini

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