[UPDATED] Bangladeshi workers entry: May 31 deadline stays - Saifuddin


NIBONG TEBAL: The government has no plans to extend the May 31 deadline for foreign workers to arrive in Malaysia, including those from Bangladesh, despite an appeal from Bangladesh to allow entry for nearly 17,000 workers with approved visas who missed the deadline.

Home Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail stated that all factors were considered before setting the May 31 deadline.

"So, if you ask me whether there would be an extension of time, the answer is no. We announced the May 31 deadline a long time ago," Saifuddin told reporters.

He explained that the deadline was established with careful consideration of all necessary processes, including quota approval, health checks, visa processing, and flight arrangements. 

He emphasised that the deadline was reasonable.

"Between May 28 and 31, we recorded the entry of more than 20,000 foreign workers into the country. Some of them obtained their visas as early as November last year," he added.

Saifuddin questioned why employers waited so long to arrange for their workers' arrival if they were urgently needed, reinforcing that the May 31 deadline is justified and there are no plans for an extension.

The Bangladeshi government had requested a special one-off period to allow the workers to enter Malaysia, but Saifuddin reiterated that the current projection for foreign workers, including those leaving through check-out memos, was 2.6 million by the end of December, surpassing the Economic Planning Unit's projection of 2.5 million.

"For the manufacturing, services, and construction sectors, we have met the foreign worker needs projections. For farming and agriculture, we will process according to the approved quota with no new approvals, considering each case individually," he said.

He was met after accompanying Penang Yang di-Pertua Negeri Tun Ahmad Fuzi Abdul Razak on a working visit to Penjara Seberang Prai here today.

Meanwhile, asked to comment on the probe into officers involved in the investigation of an assault against a disabled e-hailing driver, Saifuddin declined comment. 

"That (incident), we leave it to the IGP. I don't want to interfere.

"Let the IGP comment," he said.

It was reported that Bukit Aman had summoned all the officers involved in the investigation of an assault against a disabled e-hailing driver.

Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Razarudin Husain said this was to ensure a thorough investigation into the matter and have everyone involved to provide their statements.

It was previously reported that the police were probing the alleged assault, purportedly involving a bodyguard tasked with escorting a VVIP.

The investigation was launched after police received a report from the e-hailing driver. The report has since gone viral.

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