Immigration issues permits, passes to Forest City workers

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The Immigration Department has issued 2,485 temporary work permits as well as 1,682 employment and professional visit passes to foreign workers of Chinese nationals working in four construction locations in Johor.

State Unity and Human Resources Committee chairperson R Vidyananthan said the four locations included Forest City project in Gelang Patah.

He said the application for all the passes was processed after the consideration and quota approval of the Human Resources Ministry were obtained.

"Application from the major construction companies was made after reports of an influx of Chinese workers that were hired without valid procedures.

"This issue stems from unscrupulous agents and individuals who acted as middlemen in bringing in the group of workers," he said in his winding up speech for his portfolio at the 13th Johor state legislative assembly sitting in Kota Iskandar today.

He said all the workers would be deported to their country of origin upon completion of the construction project.

Last week, Malaysiakini reported that hundreds of workers from China were forced to put up at the Senai International Airport and on the streets while waiting for a flight back to their country.

According to the report, they paid between 10,000 yuan (RM6,288) and 24,000 yuan (RM15,092) to the agent in their country to work in the project which purportedly promised high salaries.

The 1,370ha project is the biggest mixed residential and commercial development site in South-East Asia that is built on four artificial islands.

It is developed jointly by Country Garden Holdings (CG) from China and Kumpulan Prasarana Rakyat Johor (KPRJ), involving an investment of US$40 billion for a period of 20 years.

- Bernama

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