MP SPEAKS Earlier this week, I had highlighted a worrying discrepancy in our immigration management system called the National Foreigners Enforcement and Registration System (NERS) where there is a potential breach allowing dubious entry of 718,000 migrant workers.
This follows the crackdown of an insider syndicate within the Immigration Department which for the last six (6) years has been sabotaging certain computer system including the Malaysian Immigration System (MyIMMS) to allow illegal entry of untold number of foreigners.
I want to highlight yet another grave problem with our immigration system.
MyEG violated immigration laws by illegally renewing permits for 9,000 foreigners
In the latest Auditor-General’s Report released in April this year, it was highlighted that MyEG, the sole online platform to renew migrant workers permit (PLKS), has illegally allowed renewal of almost 9,000 foreigners in 2013 and 2014 through an automatic renewal process which goes against the standard operating procedure (SOP).
Both the legal adviser of the Immigration Department and the auditor-general have opined that MyEG’s action has violated the Immigration Regulations 1963.
Despite its bad track record, MyEG was also appointed to register undocumented migrants (Pati) in September 2014 although actual registration started a year later in September 2015.
We do not know if there are further violation by MyEG throughout 2015, when it scaled up on the PLKS renewal, having renewed a total of 1,318,872 permits that year. Instruction for MyEG to stop automatic renewal only came on March 4, 2016.
Did the deputy minister lie about an alternative system?
During the April 2015 parliament sitting, former deputy home minister Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar pledged that the government will set up its own online system to manage foreign workers permit, instead of relying on MyEG.
This is only logical because as it is, the Immigration Department is already providing various online application services including for Professional Visit Pass (PVP), residents pass, entry permit and others under its eservices online platform.
What is shocking is, the government actually has already paid a private contractor to build the said online system. It was a package under the RM29.9 million contract given to HeiTech Padu Bhd, which incidentally is the vendor for the controversial MyIMMS.
However, the application developed was shelved to make way for MyEG in a directive letter from the Home Ministry on Nov 17, 2014.
I have three important questions for the government:
Firstly, why was the multi-million ringgit application set aside to allow MyEG to continue making easy profit from being the sole middleman in PLKS online renewal? By pocketing RM35 from the government for each transaction done, MyEG made an easy RM46.2 million in 2015.
Secondly, did the deputy home minister lie in April 2015 when he said that the government will set up its own system when a) a system has indeed been set up but was already shelved five months earlier in November 2014, and b) up till now, no news of such system being implemented and the audit report confirmed that the earlier system is a waste of public resource.
Finally, what action is taken against MyEG for violating immigration laws to allow at least 9,000 migrant workers to be renewed illegally. Is MyEG or any of its personnel part of the insider syndicate running human trafficking in Malaysia? A thorough audit needs to be conducted on all the applications which came under MyEG.
STEVEN SIM CHEE KEONG is MP for Bukit Mertajam and deputy spokesperson, DAP Parliamentary Committee for Human Resources.